Tetra Pak and the sugar cane

Derrick Lin


Tetra Pak invited  Packaging of the World to their R&D site in Modena, Italy. 

You may be wondering what is the connection between sugar cane and Tetra Pak. Read on to discover this amazing relationship.

The POTW duo (Carroll and me) were in the Tetra Pak Innovation Lab located in Modena, Italy, to discover their latest innovations. It is one of the company’s distinctive array of research and innovation facilities.

As you may know, Tetra Pak is the world leader in carton packaging, environment is one of the cornerstones of its leadership and future ambitions. Tetra Pak has a keen focus on delivering value through sustainable products and services.

Omer Emran, Product Manager Environmental Innovation, shows us the benefits of sustainability

“In an industry first, all our packaging in Brazil will now be made with the pioneering use of bio-based low-density polyethylene (LDPE).

LDPE is a thermoplastic made from sugar cane that, when combined with paperboard, increases the content of materials from renewable sources to as much as 82%, in the case of a Brik® Aseptic 1000ml Base package. Our customers’ machinery does not need to be modified when switching to bio-based LDPE and the material has the same physical and chemical properties as its more traditional alternatives.

Following the successful adoption of our bio-based LDPE by Coca-Cola Brazil for its Del Valle juice beverages, we are extending our use of the renewable polymer layer to all 150 customers that source from Tetra Pak Brazil. This will amount to a total of more than 13 billion packs every year.” – Tetra Pak

Environmental Innovations infographics doodle

Tetra Pak aims to deliver ‘Environmental Value’ across the value chain. It is also their mission to understand and keep on delivering value across this chain – from suppliers to consumers. Their bio-based portfolio adds tangible value to their customers’ environmental ambitions and public committments in reducing CO2, carbon footprint, renewability and recycling. Consumers acknowledge that it is an important factor that businesses take environmentally responsible actions which help them to make simple environmental choices.

Tetra Pak collaborated with Braskem [leading bio-polymer supplier] and worked on renewable plastics to develop caps made from sugar cane, an industry first.

In 2011, Tetra Pak started to source polymers from renewable sources and launched the industry’s first caps made using bio-based polymers. Did you know that Brazilian sugar cane have a lower carbon footprint than conventional fossil fuel-based polymers?

“The cap is made from sugar canes and that’s what makes them renewable, besides renewability is 100%!

In 2015, you will see the market launch of the first beverage carton made from 100% renewable sources.” – Omer Emran, Product Manager Environmental Innovation

Tetra Pak caps and the sugar canes

“Environment excellence is one of Tetra Pak’s strategic priorities and a driver of our product development activities,” said Charles Brand, VP Marketing & Product Management at Tetra Pak. “Together with suppliers, customers and other stakeholders, we are leading the industry towards 100% renewable packaging. We believe that increasing the renewable content of our packages is not only good for the environment, but also offers our customers a competitive advantage in the overall environmental profile of their products.”

They are all equipped with bio-based caps!
Tetra Rex® carton 100% renewable

Through Tetra Pak’s research, 33% consumers around the world increasingly feel guilty when they do something that is not environmentally friendly but more than 50% would like to do more for the environment but do not know how. As a result there is a significant opportunity for businesses to attract customers by simplifying choices through better use of more environmentally friendly ingredients or materials for their packaging.

We went home with the knowledge of the process and continuous effort Tetra Pak dedicated into making a product that is not only easy to use but also sustainable. Pick the right pack today!

About the author
Derrick Lin is the founder and chief curator of Packaging of the World. He launched the website in 2008 and now Packaging of the world has built a readership of 1 million monthly visitors to the online gallery. You may connect with him on Google+.