Tetra Pak ‘to Double Carton Recycling’

by | Apr 22, 2011

Tetra Pak has announced commitments to cap the carbon emissions of its value chain at 2010 levels by 2020, and to help double the recycling rate of its used beverage cartons by the end of the decade.

The ten-year targets are part of the packaging company’s new environmental program, whose ultimate aims are to create zero waste and provide packaging that uses only renewable materials.

Tetra Pak says that with an estimated five percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), its proposed carbon cap would require a 40 percent CO2 reduction relative to sales. The emissions goal includes Tetra Pak’s direct operations but also will require asking suppliers to meet agreed-on targets, and supporting customer activities to reduce their own emissions.

Earlier this month Tetra Pak said that it has achieved and in some cases exceeded its five-year environmental goals, for the years 2005-2010, including its carbon target. Through energy efficiency and renewable energy, Tetra Pak cut its absolute CO2-equivalent emissions by 12.9 per cent while increasing production by over 23 per cent (a relative reduction of more than 30 per cent).

In 2010, 30 billion used Tetra Pak cartons were recycled around the world, a doubling of 2002 levels. This diverted 473,000 tonnes of material away from landfills and provided valuable raw material for new products, Tetra Pak said.

Doubling the recycling rate of its beverage cartons by 2020 will mean about 100 billion cartons are recycled in that year, assuming a five percent CAGR for sales. To achieve this goal, Tetra Pak plans to develop new technologies, increase the efficiency of collection and sorting schemes, and raise consumer awareness.

Tetra Pak also aims to increase the proportion of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) paper board in its products to 50 percent by 2012, and eventually to 100 percent. In 2010, 40 per cent of Tetra Pak’s paper board supply was FSC certified, with 8.5 billion cartons carrying the FSC logo.

By the end of 2011, the company says the number of Tetra Pak cartons carrying the FSC logo will nearly double, to 16 billion.

The company has also signed an agreement with Brazilian polyethylene producer Braskem, to launch caps containing sugarcane-based renewable polymers in 2011.

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