Tetra Pak has, today, announced it is ready to deploy its portfolio of tethered cap solutions. The roll out will offer a host of benefits to food and beverage manufacturers and consumers; the biggest being a reduction in litter because the cap is designed to stay attached to the package.
The carbon footprint of the product can also be minimised, as the company has revealed plans to make the tethered caps available as a plant-based option, which will increase the renewable content of the package.
It is the latest step taken by Tetra Pak towards its vision of creating the most sustainable food package available. In tandem, the company is accelerating the expansion of its paper straws offering to ensure further renewable and low carbon materials across the range of packaging solutions. The aim of this is to address a broad range of customer sustainability needs without compromising on food safety, whilst still delivering on the end-user drinking experience.
Tetra Pak executive vice president, packaging solutions and commercial operations, Lars Holmquist said: “These are key milestones in our journey towards the world’s most sustainable food package: a carton that is fully made from renewable or recycled materials, is fully recyclable and carbon-neutral. We consistently strive to deliver products and services that adds value to food and people while protecting the planet. Our promise, ‘PROTECTS WHAT’S GOOD,’ allied with this strong purpose means we are providing customers with innovative products that also meet the rapidly changing demands of society.”
Tetra Pak’s tethered caps and paper straws developments mark the latest additions to its range of responsible end-to-end solutions, allowing manufacturers to achieve their ambitions in three essential areas – food safety, food waste and the environment – simultaneously.
Mr Holmquist continued: “Approximately 32% of all plastic packaging is not collected and plastic can take hundreds of years to degrade. We focus on recycling by design, committing to invest approximately €100 million per year over the next five to 10 years to develop more sustainable packaging solutions. This includes alternatives to replace fossil-based plastics and avoid littering, as well as maximising the use of renewable, responsibly sourced materials in our packages. Addressing people’s needs for recycling is a critical component for not only becoming more sustainable but making food more available and safer for all consumers.”
These steps are also central to ensuring that Tetra Pak’s customers in Europe will be ready to comply with the Single Use Plastics (SUP) Directive, an integral part of the wider approach announced in the Plastics Strategy and an important element of the EU Circular Economy Action Plan.
With this in mind, Tetra Pak has accelerated innovation in the caps domain. Mr Holmquist added: “The significant challenge of deploying tethered caps is the scale of the change that this brings across the value chain. If we look at Europe alone, more than 1,000 packaging lines supplied by us will be potentially transformed, translating into over 20 billion packages, which are expected to be converted. All of that in three years, while minimising impact on our customers’ operations, optimising the consumer experience and contributing to both minimising litter and creating a carton package with increased plant-based and recycled content.”
Tetra Pak is progressing on this complex journey by working across various project streams. Overall, this covers approximately 40 different packages with tethered caps. Those caps are all planned to become available as a plant-based option. The first one to be released on the market is the HeliCap 26 Pro closure. This product features a new screw-and-flip concept with a self-locking hinge, securing food protection while providing convenience for in-home consumption. Its opening and closing mechanism has proven popular with consumers, demonstrating that the solution is delivering further benefits, in addition to meeting legislative requirements.
Mr Holmquist concluded: “We won’t stop here. We are continuously innovating our sustainable openings offering. We envision a world where carton packages never become waste and where every carton is collected and recycled.”