Tetra Pak shoots for 100 million fully recyclable cartons

Food packaging and processing company Tetra Pak expects to deliver more than 100 million packs of 100% recyclable, bio-based cartons to customers during 2016 as the company expands its portfolio across Europe.

After successful trials of its bio-based ‘Tetra Rex’ packaging over the past year, Tetra Pak has revealed that Norwegian dairy company TINE will now use Tetra Rex for its 1.75 litre milk products – the largest packaging specification to date to incorporate the fully renewable cartons.

Tetra Pak’s product director Christina Chester said: “We are not content with stopping here. We are going to continue onwards with our journey and so far we are extremely happy about our current customers. We see a great future for this product and while we expect more than 100 million deliveries this year.

“We already know that it will grow in other parts of the world. We’ll be announcing a new geographical launch in the very near future.”

Launched in January 2015, Tetra Rex is made entirely from plant-based materials, including a twist cap made from sugar cane, with 75% of the carton coming from ‘renewable’ materials. The packaging has been well-recognised for its environmental performance, winning seven awards last year.

The new packaging partnership with TINE – which has its own ambition to sell all milk products in renewable cartons by 2017 – follows Tetra Pak partnerships with Vecozuviel in the Netherlands and Arla Foods and Vermlands Mejeri in Sweden.

TINE’s head of corporate responsibility Bjørn Malm said: “We believe growing our business sustainably is not just good for the environment, it also improves our competitiveness and provides product differentiation. Thanks to Tetra Rex, we have been able to take a significant step towards our own environmental goals and have committed to making all our milk cartons renewable from next year.”

Edging ahead

Tetra Pak also this week confirmed it will be revamping another sustainable packaging line, Tetra Brik Aseptic Edge, by upping the use of renewable materials used in the production process from 75% to 80% – making it the first carton package in the industry to have more than 80% certified from bio-based content.

Tetra Pak’s product manager for environmental innovations Omer Emran said: “Tetra Brik Aseptic Edge offers a wide range of environmental benefits for customers and consumers. We have certification in place which is the highest level of certification that any package can obtain. It will be FSC certified and will help lower production stage carbon emissions and is 100% recyclable.

Tetra Pak recently announced it can now supply packaging from responsibly-managed wood sources from any of its 92 facilities worldwide, having received full Forest Stewardship Council certification (FSC). The company recycled 651,000 tonnes of used beverage carton globally, up from 623,000 tonnes in 2013. This represents 26% of the company’s annual delivery – which remains relatively low compared to the 2020 target of 40%.

Matt Mace

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