Tetra Pak Dabbles in ‘Green’ Polyethylene

by | Dec 1, 2009

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tetra pak containerTetra Pak, known for its beverage and food containers, is working with a Brazilian petrochemical company to buy high-density polyethylene derived solely from renewable feedstock.

Tetra Pak said this represents the first move toward so-called “green” polyethylene in the carton packaging industry.

The new facility will use ethanol derived from sugar cane to produce ethylene, which will then be converted into polyethylene, according to Tetra Pak.

The packaging will be sourced from Braskem SA, a Brazilian company, wth the first deliveries starting in early 2011, according to a press release.

Tetra Pak will not be using a great amount of the packaging material at first. The contract, which calls for 5 Ktons per year, represents just 5 percent of Tetra Pak’s high-density polyethylene used annually, and just less than 1 percent of Tetra Pak’s total plastics purchases.

Tetra Pak President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Jonsson said the deal represents a “pilot project” toward finding new ways to use renewable materials in carton packaging.

Because the packaging is derived from renewable feedstock, the deal will help Tetra Pak maintain its commitment to the Forestry Stewardship Council. In October, the firm joined World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Global Forest & Trade Network in North America (GFTN-NA) to support the trade of responsibly sourced forest products.

Tetra Pak has pledged to reduce its global carbon emissions 10 percent from 2005 to 2010.

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