Tetra Pak’s Drive for Sustainability

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The Tetra Pak is probably one of the most recognisable items of packaging, and since 1951, the company that bears the same name has strived to provide safe and high-quality packaging.

But they have seen a need to move with the times too, and they know that as a packaging manufacturer, that they have some responsibility to the environment. Here’s just some of the ways they’re working hard to be sustainable.

How they recycle their products at the end of their life cycle

The company recognise that if they make an effort to recycle their packaging, it preserves natural resources and reduces emissions that contribute to climate change.

Their recycling goals

In 2010, they set a target of 40% by 2020. They have already reached 25% and they recycle around 47 billion Tetra Paks now, up from 32 billion in 2016.

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How their packaging is recycled

The materials that make up their packaging, namely paper fibres, polymers, and aluminium, can be recycled and turned into new products quite easily.

  • Paper fibres: These are used to produce pulp to make material for new paper products
  • Polymers and aluminium: These are recycled together or separately to make new products.

The entire carton can even be recycled in one go.

As well as recycling, 11% of Tetra Paks go through an energy recovery process.

Encouraging recycling from start to finish

The company work to promote recycling at every level of the business by:

  • Working to boost customer awareness of how their packaging can be recycled
  • Working in partnership with waste management companies, recycling companies and local authorities
  • Increasing collection and recycling of packaging around the world

Recycling rules are different all around the world, so the company endeavours to take part in discussions about changes in legislation and best practice to increase the collection and recycling of packaging across the globe.

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Identifying new products that can be made from recycled packaging

The company are always coming up with ways to reuse their packaging, and identifying new products that can be made from the recycled materials.

The drive for sustainability

The company are keen to point out that sustainability is not all about recycling, however. It has set itself a target of reducing emissions by 42% by 2030, and it recently launched a bioplastic film for its packaging. The company can now also boast that 1/3 of the energy used in its operations is from a renewable source.

Ending hunger, reducing food waste, and boosting nutrition

The company believes that it can work to end hunger, boost the nutritional content of food, and reduce food waste. For example, UHT milk can stay fresh for 6 months without being put in the fridge. This will solve the problem of food going to waste, just as 40% of the food produced globally does. They are also looking to get into the food processing business, with the ultimate aim of giving their customers the most nutritious products possible. 

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