Tetra Pak is committed to a low-carbon, circular economy, one where the entire food chain has a minimum climate impact.
Our ambition is to deliver a sustainable package that contributes to a low carbon circular economy, that is, a package made entirely from renewable and/or recycled materials that is fully recyclable, without ever compromising on food safety requirements.
While our packaging is mainly made of responsibly sourced paperboard, polymers are also used for protective layers, caps and closures, and straws. We wish to minimize the use of fossil-fuel-based plastics and have taken some further actions in this direction.
In 2016, Tetra Pak joined the Circular Economy 100 (CE100), a precompetitive multi-stakeholder platform established by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Participating organisations work towards building a restorative and regenerative economy. Our membership enables us to test, scale and develop innovations in collaboration with other CE100 members, ensuring their ultimate viability.
In January 2018, we were one of the first companies to pledge support for the EU Plastics Strategy. Our commitment involves working with industry partners to ensure recycling solutions are in place for all components of beverage cartons, increasing the use of plastics made from renewable feedstocks and using recycled plastics once they are available and validated as safe and legally acceptable for food contact material.
In March 2019, we signed the Ellen MacArthur Foundation New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, which for us entails the following:
We will launch a paper straw in 2019. We expect to industrialise production on a scale that will meet global demands by 2025
We will work with partners to increase the recycling for PolyAl – the non-fibre components of a beverage carton
We will use recycled plastics content in our packages by 2025, subject to when suitable food-grade recycled plastic is technically and economically available. We will also to a larger extent and faster make use of recycled plastics for secondary packaging and distribution material.
We believe the next step for policy makers and industry is to contribute to decarbonize the industry and reduce our overall climate impact. Only through combined efforts can the low carbon circular economy vision can be fulfilled.
Find out how we drive our climate change strategy and more here.
There are several key ways our company already contributes to a circular economy:
• Using renewables: Renewable resources are natural materials that grow back, such as wood and sugar cane. Using these and managing them responsibly differentiates us in the market and protects our planet. Today, the average renewable content of our carton packaging material is around 75 percent. Long-term, we want to make all our packaging from 100 percent renewable materials.
In collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation CE100 and three of its member companies, we published a joint communication on the role and contribution of
renewable materials for a low-carbon and circular future.
• Responsible sourcing of materials: Responsible procurement is an important step in the shift to circularity; by improving the input, we can help make sure the circular economy is truly sustainable. All our paperboard is sourced from Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™) certified forests and other controlled sources. We use a tiny amount of aluminium in our packaging as an essential protective barrier. We are continually innovating to reduce how much we use, while investigating alternatives. As part of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI), we seek to address the key social and environmental issues associated with this material.
• Increasing recycling: Recycling helps keep valuable materials in the economy, and recycled materials are increasingly in demand for different applications. All Tetra Pak carton packages are recyclable, and over 46 billion were recycled in 2017 alone. We work to improve the recycling value chain wherever our cartons have a presence. As part of EU plastics pledge, we commit to working with industry partners to ensure that by 2030, recycling solutions are in place for all components of beverage cartons across Europe.
• Resource efficient products and processes: We need to do more with less to grow within our planetary boundaries. By making our products and processes more efficient, we minimise waste, while reducing the consumption of resources. Tetra Pak’s food processing and filling equipment represent the best available solutions. We are relentlessly innovative in our development of new products and services that minimise resource use and reduce cost for our customers.
Do you want to know more about our circular economy approach?