Tetra Pak joins Circular Economy 100 to accelerate closed-loop transition

Food processing and packaging company Tetra Pak has announced that it has become a corporate member of the Circular Economy 100 (CE100), the innovation platform launched by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to accelerate circular economy ambitions.

Tatra Pak is using the CE100 platform to open-up collaborative opportunities with companies and organisations which are actively seeking and developing closed-loop models. The firm joins the likes of Coca-Cola, Unilever and Apple in signing up to the initiative.

Tetra Pak’s chief executive Dennis Jönsson said: “Joining the CE100 programme reflects Tetra Pak’s commitment to maintaining a leadership position in recycling and in the use of renewable materials from sustainably managed sources.”

With the company expanding across Europe, Tetra Pak expects to deliver more than 100 million packs of 100% recyclable, bio-based cartons to customers during 2016. The main driver behind this will be the Tetra Rex plant-based carton, including a twist cap made from sugar cane, with 75% of the carton coming from ‘renewable’ materials.

The company has set a target to recycle 40% of its annual delivery by 2020 and with 651,000 tonnes recycled in 2014 – representing 26% of its portfolio – Tetra Pak hopes the CE100 will unlock more paths to a circular economy and its 2020 goals.

Star spangled circles

Tetra Pak’s announcement came on the eve of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s first CE100 workshop in America. The CE100 USA programme, which was launched last month, held its first official workshop last week (31 March) in San Francisco.

The workshop aims to provide a national pre-competitive innovation platform for US companies to meet and address the specific circular economy ramifications that are exclusive to the US market.

A recent report from the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Centre determined that US companies, on average, generate 7.8 metric tonnes of waste per $1m in revenue. The report noted that reducing paper waste by just 1% would provide economic savings of around $1bn.

In attendance at the event was US-based innovator Noble Environmental Technologies, which has recently had its flagship material ECOR, featured as a potential driver for a closed-loop system. The Cradle to Cradle certified material is made from 100% recycled content and is biodegradable – similar to the innovations in edie’s weekly roundup.

Companies including Google, Motorola, Microsoft, H&M and Starbucks – recently under fire for its lack of coffee cup recycling – have all worked with the ECOR product to drive closed-loop systems in their relevant sector.

The concept of circular economy has received a boost in recent months. The Ellen McArthur Foundation believes that coupling closed-loop systems with the Internet of Things would unlock wholesale ‘social benefits’.

One of the big-movers in the circular economy market is Coca-Cola, which recently called on policy makers to take a ‘leap of faith’ in order to effectively promote a transition to closed-loop cycles.

Resource Efficiency at edie Live

From May 17-18, the Resource Efficiency Theatre at edie live will explore the ways in which companies can prevent waste across a variety of sectors and what reduction strategies can be put in place to accelerate waste prevention.

One of the sessions will involve experts from Veolia, Whitbread and Tech UK, who will discuss the practicalities of being a closed-loop business.

View the full edie Live agenda here.

Matt Mace

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