Our goal is to minimise negative impacts and make a positive contribution to the businesses, people and communities that make up our supply chain. As a global company with many thousands of suppliers around the world, we have an opportunity to promote responsible sourcing practices. We believe this is the right thing to do and also vital to remaining the packaging supplier of choice for our customers and for consumers. We have developed even stricter criteria for our purchase of the packaging materials used for Tetra Pak cartons: paperboard, polymers and aluminium. We have also signed up to the CE100, an Ellen MacArthur Foundation initiative to support a circular economy.
Our goal is to make all of our packages from 100 percent renewable materials. Already, our cartons made mostly from plant-based materials have a significantly lower climate impact than packages made from fossil or mineral sources. The lifetime carbon impact of a Tetra Recart food package, for example, is five times less than its steel or glass equivalent. With renewable materials, products can also have positive environmental, economic and social impacts, capturing carbon as well as reducing emissions during their lifecycle, and promoting sustainable land use and biodiversity.
Read more about the role of plant-based materials in the low carbon circular economy on the Ellen MacArthur Foundation website: Renewable materials for a low-carbon and circular future (pdf).
On average, more than 70 percent of a Tetra Pak carton by weight is paperboard. Although we don’t own or manage any forests, we apply our purchasing power to promote sustainable forest management.
A Tetra Pak package has thin layer of polymers, or plastic, to prevent moisture getting in or out and to keep the contents fresh. Plastic is also used to make caps, closures and straws. Our long-term ambition is to offer all our chilled and ambient packages made from renewable alternatives to oil-based plastics.
On the inside of our aseptic cartons, a layer of aluminium eight times thinner than a human hair provides vital protection from oxygen and light, keeping perishable food safe without refrigeration for months. Although this layer is minute, we are continually innovating to make it as thin as possible, while investigating alternative barrier materials.
On average more than 70 percent of a Tetra Pak carton by weight is paperboard. This, along with plant-based polymers, present in caps and sleeves, significantly increases the share of materials from renewable sources in a package. This share is determined by summing the weight of both materials and dividing it with the weight of the package.
Additives, such as the printing ink and the pigment giving color to the cap, represent a minor part of the package weight (typically <1%), and are disregarded in the calculation of the share of renewable material.
The use of renewable materials that are continuously replenished, such as wood fibre from trees or bio-based plastic from sugarcane, plays an important role in reducing resource scarcity and mitigating climate change.
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