Earth911 talks with Lisa Ryden, Sustainable Development Director at Tetra Pak, the world’s largest carton manufacturer about its 2021 corporate sustainability report and the steps the company is taking to reduce its environmental impact. Tetra Pak has established itself globally, selling 183 billion cartons in 2020. The brand name has become synonymous with cartons in many regions, where they are referred to as a “Tetra.”
Lisa shares the company’s 2030 goals and explains some of the challenges of reducing its carbon emissions by 46% compared to 2019 and achieving net-zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by the end of the decade. In the past year, Tetra Pak has launched a plant-based carton made with renewable materials, shipped 12 billion caps made from plant-based materials, and they replaced the aluminum liner used in early generations of cartons with a polymer that has a 25% lower carbon footprint. Tetra Pak’s CO2 emissions peaked in 2010 and it has reduced the volume of food waste in its manufacturing processes by 50% over the past decade.
Cartons represent an emerging alternative to plastic packaging for beverages and food. The only beverage category that fiber cartons cannot serve are carbonated drinks, and more food manufacturers are considering cartons for, among other things, cheese — Tetra Pak recently introduced a cheese packaging solution. Tetra Pak has more than 170 recycling processor partners globally. The company reports that 27% of the cartons it made in 2020 were recycled and has set a goal of reaching 70% recycling rates in Europe by 2030. Cartons remain a recycling challenge in the U.S., where there are only four carton recycling processing facilities — this makes recycling cartons less sustainable because they must be shipped a thousand miles in many cases to be processed.
You can learn more at https://tetrapak.com.