The news follows the packaging giant’s announcement in June that it would work with thermoplastic resins producer Braskem to supply Tetra Pak with low-density polyethylene (LDPE) made from sugar cane from its production plants in Brazil. The LDPE material will replace conventional plastic carton layers in Tetra Pak cartons. 

The trial will be limited in scope to Brazil and is scheduled to start during the first quarter of 2014.

Speaking to edie, Tetra Pak global product manager for environmental innovations Erik Steijger said: “We will start this off in Brazil and if that is successful we will consdier extending the pilot to other regions.”

This initiative forms part of Tetra Pak’s goals to bring environmental initiatives to its customers and provide sustainable packaging using renewable materials by 2020.

Tetra Pak is considering a roll-out of bio-based polyethylene in its carton packs across the world if a trial in Brazil is successful.The plan will result in Tetra Pak achieving up to 82% renewable source material usage in the 13bn composite cartons it makes in Brazil annually.

Steijger said that the change in material would not affect the product inside the carton.

However, he said the firm still faced barriers in trying to roll out bio-based plastic material.He questioned how it could be made “commercially viable” as the product is more expensive than conventional plastic. He also said that there was only one supplier that could supply this kind of material to the firm and there was a “scarcity of bio-based material”. 

Liz Gyekye

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