Until now, discarded drinks cartons collected by Bryson Recycling in kerbside schemes in Newtownabbey, Ballymena and Carrickfergus have been shipped to Sweden for reprocessing.
Now, Bryson Recycling will send its bales of beverage cartons to a new plant at Stainland in West Yorkshire - the UK's only beverage carton reprocessing plant.
Northern Ireland's leading recycling group has become the first customer of the new recycling plant, which is being set up following an agreement between the Alliance for Beverage Cartons -amp; the Environment (ACE) UK and paper and packaging producer Sonoco Alcore.
When the new plant becomes operational in early 2013, there will be potential to create an innovative logistics scenario.
Lorries which are used to transport coreboard from the Sonoco Alcore mill in West Yorkshire to its converting factory in Lurgan could be backloaded with used beverage carton bales from the Bryson Recycling MRF for reprocessing back at the Stainland plant, significantly reducing transport impacts.
Eric Randall, director at Bryson Recycling, said: "The ability to reprocess beverage cartons in the UK is great news for us and our local authority partners. At the heart of everything we do is the triple bottom line approach: social responsibility, environmental sustainability and economic viability. Our agreement with ACE UK and Sonoco Alcore puts a big tick in all these boxes, so we're delighted to be leading the pack as the first to sign up."