Tetra Pak continues investments towards a low-carbon circular economy

Building sustainability strategy with a significant focus on circularity and recycling

By Belin Alev

Published: Mon 18 Oct 2021, 10:22 AM

Recycling has long been a vital part of Tetra Pak’s operations, with the company’s recyclable carton packages being composed of approximately 70 per cent paper, which is a renewable resource. Operating across the world with a focus on sustainability, the brand has been working to develop a collection and recycling infrastructure in all of its markets for many years. The company has made a commitment to reach a recycling rate of 90 per cent in Europe by 2030.

Tetra Pak has played a vital role in increasing the number of facilities that recycle carton packages worldwide from 40 in 2010 to more than 170 today. The number of Tetra Pak carton packages collected for recycling increased from 32 billion in 2010 to 49 billion in 2020, equivalent to an overall recycling rate of 27 per cent. Committed to ensuring its cartons are recyclable according to new and leading definitions such as the one identified in the study by Ellen MacArthur Foundation’ titled ‘The new plastics economy’, Tetra Pak continually seeks opportunities across the entire recycling value chain to improve this rate.


Aiming to contribute to the achievement of a low-carbon circular economy, Tetra Pak’s approach to circularity and recycling has two main areas of activity. The first focuses on design and materials. To this end, Tetra Pak communicated its goal to deliver the world’s most sustainable food package through its recently launched global ‘Go nature. Go carton.’ campaign. The second area focuses on the new life of Tetra Pak packages after use. Actively embracing local and global initiatives, the company works to drive consumer awareness and engagement around recycling; supporting collection systems and sorting technology improvements; and contributing to the expansion of recycling capacity and solutions across the world.


Industry-first recycling agreements in Saudi Arabia

Working in close collaboration with key stakeholders across the industry, Tetra Pak took a significant step by signing an industry-first joint initiative with Obeikan Paper Industries (OPI), a Riyadh-based paper mill that produces 180 thousand tons of duplex board annually, to recycle used beverage cartons in Saudi Arabia, turning them into valuable raw materials for new products.

Another agreement Tetra Pak signed with Saudi Top Plastic (STP) Factory, the leading plastic recycling plant in the region, aims to recycle ‘Polyethylene and Aluminum Polymers’ resulting from the collection and recycling of used cartons.

In line with its strategy to drive environmental excellence, Tetra Pak continues to collaborate with public institutions, waste management and collection companies, NGOs, retailers, other stakeholders, and customers to make recycling work. Believing that collective action is key, the company is working to advance the entire recycling value chain and contributing to the transformation of cartons into new raw materials and products, keeping valuable resources in use to help build a circular economy.

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