The new world order has put sustainability at the top of every industry’s agenda. The food and beverage (F&B) industry is no exception. Tetra Pak has been focusing on sustainability, and now more than ever, is aiming to surpass its efforts to ensure food safety and availability without putting our planet at risk.
From sourcing materials to recycling, the company has been shaping its operations in order to achieve its ambitions of reaching net zero in its operations by 2030 and across the whole value chain by 2050. By 2021, it had reduced greenhouse gas emissions associated with its operations by 36 per cent, doubled its solar capacity to 5.55 MW, and obtained 80 per cent of its energy from renewable sources, moving it closer to its target of 100 per cent in 2030.
The company is collaborating with several innovative companies to turn potential food waste into nutritious food sources, while also developing alternative protein-based food application, which offers the opportunity to significantly reduce land and water use compared to conventional sources while reducing carbon footprint.
Moreover, as the leader and pioneer in sustainable food and beverage packaging and processing, Tetra Pak’s ambition is to create the world’s most sustainable packaging, fully made from renewable or recycled materials, which are also fully recyclable and carbon neutral, naming the ambition ‘Go Nature. Go Carton’. In the meantime, the company has been continuously innovating in plant-based packaging in order to satisfy market demands and the need for more sustainable solutions.
In its 2022 Sustainability Report, the company shared that it sold 17.6 billion plant-based packages and 10.8 billion plant-based caps, saving 96 kilotons of CO2 compared to fossil-based plastics. The company also reported that commercial validation of a polymer-based barrier to replace the aluminium layer of sterile cartons has been successfully completed while testing of new fibre-based barriers has begun. This is a first for carton packaging of foods distributed under ambient conditions.
Additionally, last year and for the coming three years, Tetra Pak has invested €40 million to support cardboard collection and recycling globally. Just this month, the company decided to join forces with UPM (Union Paper Mills), the UAE’s pioneer in paper recycling, to build a commercially feasible collection and recycling value chain for used beverage cartons (UBC) in the UAE. By collaborating to reach their goals, the two partners hope to set an example and encourage businesses to support the country’s sustainability ambitions. Tetra Pak is expected to assist UPM with UBC’s recycling capabilities including the technology needed to install and operate a pulping line at UPM’s facility in Dubai, and with technical know-how in recycling plants. Moreover, Tetra Pak is facilitating cooperation between waste management companies and UPM. This will further increase the capacity and overall efficiency of UBC's collection, transportation, treatment, and recycling systems.
Earlier this year, Tetra Pak also started its partnership with two leading recycling companies in Saudi Arabia, Obeikan Paper Industries (OPI) and Saudi Top Plastic Factory (STP). Together, they invested more than €3 million in this project, which aims to increase UBC collection and recycling by creating value and demand for this raw material. They created a recycling hub where UBC, collected in Saudi Arabia and neighbouring countries, go through a pulping process to separate the paper fibres and PolyAl. OPI recovers the paper fibres and transforms them into high-quality recycled duplex board which has several end-uses including tissue boxes and other folded cardboard packages. STP recovers the PolyAl resulting from the process, dries and cleans it, and puts it through an extrusion process that turns it into plastic granules. These are sold to plastic recyclers and used as a raw material for products such as plastic pallets and crates. . This project enables the partners to create entirely new industries by collecting, recycling and selling new products derived from post-consumer packaging. This is how Tetra Pak is involved in creating circular economies through which it can protect our food, people and the planet.
Click here to download Tetra Pak Sustainability Report 2022.
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