Tetra Pak has been working with Revita, a Brazilian recycler, since 2007. We have recently invested in a new process on our partner's plant, which increases their capacity to process and clean polyal. The new structure allows Revita to dry and clean the used polyal, removing all residual fibre, water and other contaminations which makes it easier to sell as a plastic material. This new investment meant we could develop new markets, such as extrusion, injection and roto-moulding, which allow us to generate value through our value chain.
NBR is a Spanish recycler that turns used plastic into plastic pellets, which can then be sold on to customers to make new products. Having invested in the appropriate technology, NBR has recently started using Tetra Pak polyal in its recycling process. Together, we are testing how the recycled plastic can best be used – making plastic pellets, as well as a range of other products, such as ACM boards and injected hoses. As part of this testing, we are working together to develop the market for recycled plastic.
Lucart is Europe's largest producer of paper for flexible packaging and a major manufacturer of paper and tissue products. The company has a factory in Tuscany that turns used beverage cartons into products. We are working with Lucart (together with other local stakeholders) to change Italy's carton collection system, significantly increasing Lucart's access to used beverage cartons and – as a result – their ability to product recycled products.
“Our aim is to move the paper industry from adopting a linear economy to a circular economy, producing and marketing products that are both good for consumer health and the environment.” - Francesco Pasquini, Lucart’s Corporate Sales and Marketing Director.
The polyAl in our packaging can be collected and turned into useful materials, such as panel boards and roofing tiles. In February 2018, we partnered with Think City KL, an urban regeneration organisation that was exhibiting at the ninth World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumper. The conference theme was ‘making cities more liveable’. Our recycled polyAL panels and tiles were used by Think City KL to build concept micro houses which were showcased in the city centre to demonstrate the potential for innovative, liveable and highly sustainable urban living spaces.
Bio Pappel, the biggest manufacturer of paper products in Mexico and Latin America, has been using recycled beverage cartons in their products for years. Cartons can be made from white (bleached) or brown (duplex) board. Until recently, most cartons in this region were made from bleached board, which Bio Pappel was recycling to make paper products. With the introduction of cartons made from duplex board, we had to find new recycling solutions while also expanding the market for products made from recycled duplex board.
We worked with BioPappel to achieve this, investing in two key components to adapt and improve the recycling chain. First, we installed a collection centre baler that significantly increases the volume of both bleached and duplex used beverage cartons that can be recycled. Second, we installed new equipment to help BioPappel adapt the pulping line they have dedicated to the recycling of used duplex beverage cartons. This adaptation will also allow the recovery of up to 85 percent of polyAl from cartons.
This new recycling stream will generate demand and create an important market for duplex cartons; we expect it to produce 24,000 tonnes of cardboard made from recycled cartons. Through these two investments and broader recycling initiatives in Mexico, we expect to increase the recycling rate from 26 percent currently to 35-40 percent by year 2020.
Tetra Pak is committed to saving resources and reducing landfill wherever our cartons reach the market. Due to a lack of local regulation, capacity for recycling is low in certain areas of Arabia. However, at the same time, there is continued sales growth of beverage cartons in the region, along with increased customer and consumer demand for sustainable recycling solutions.
In 2017, we partnered with a paper mill in Saudi Arabia and invested in the country’s first ever recycling initiative for beverage cartons. Our recycler partner, OPI, is keen to develop new recycling streams that can create better quality pulp, thereby significantly reducing their import costs. Moreover, OPI has their own company-wide waste management company and is ready to start working on programmes that increase collection and contribute to a sustainable recycling value chain.
We invested in the Gayatri papermill in South Africa to create a complete solution for polyAl recycling. However, demand for the end product – pellets – was lower than expected. To overcome this demand shortfall, we formed a taskforce with Tetra Pak and Gayarti members to ‘create’ demand. This led to a collaboration with a local plastics company that tested polyAl in a unique blend for use in a cable drum mould. The pilot was a success, creating higher performing and more cost-effective results.
After this initial test, the blended material was used also to make a higher grade of plastic pellets for a sister company of Gayatri’s. By forming new links between different companies to create innovative, sustainable, high performance products from recycled content, we are helping contribute to a circular economy.
To overcome a reduction in recycling capacity and meet growth in the collection of used beverage cartons, Tetra Pak started a partnership with a rural paper mill in the Philippines. Our involvement helped improve current processes and replace some of the mill’s raw material with recycled used carton beverages. This continues to significantly reduce costs for the mill, without compromising the quality of their end product.
PT. Leo Graha Sukses Primatama has been partnering with Tetra Pak for more than 10 years to recycle used beverages cartons into recycled paper in Indonesia. Through constant repair and upgrade of materials, they now have a total capacity of 4,000 tons of paper per month, including brown, white and even coloured and specialty paper. Since 2018, they have also been recycling the polymer and aluminium layers of cartons into roof sheets through their Eco Roof line.
The Indonesian market for beverage cartons is growing in double digits. Although collection of used beverage cartons has been continuously increasing, there have been bottlenecks in the country’s recycling capacity. To help meet this demand, Tetra Pak started a partnership with Leo Graha paper mill – the biggest carton recycler in Indonesia, and one that has specialised in recycled paper since 1996.
We worked with the mill to remove efficiency problems in their current processes, while also adding extra recycling capacity. In late 2017, Leo Graha started to recycle used beverage cartons and is on track to turnaround the negative profitability currently linked to this process. This turnaround comes from a reduction in operation recycling costs, an increase in productivity and yield, and higher quality end products, including polyAl for reuse. By helping this paper mill partner grow and fulfil its recycling potential, Tetra Pak is more able to meet the needs of our customers.