26 November 2019

Tetra Pak becomes the first company in the food and beverage industry to offer packaging made with fully traceable plant-based polymers

Using as first the Bonsucro standards for sustainable sugar cane shows another reinforcement of the company’s commitment to drive ethical and responsible business

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Tetra Rex®, renewable carton and green field

Tetra Pak, together with its supplier Braskem, has become the first company in the food and beverage industry to responsibly source plant-based polymers using the Bonsucro standards for sustainable sugar cane. This move is yet another reinforcement of the company’s commitment to drive ethical and responsible business practices across global supply chains, while lowering the carbon footprint of its packaging.

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Mario Abreu, Vice President Sustainability

“We’ve seen a growing trend of consumers wanting to do more for the planet, and they look to brands to help. Today 91% of consumers look for environmental logos when shopping, and Bonsucro Chain of Custody Certification can be used to communicate credible information to consumers, thereby helping our customers differentiate their products,” said Mario Abreu, VP Sustainability, Tetra Pak. “Our plant-based polymers are fully traceable to their sugarcane origin. We see plant-based materials as playing a key role in achieving a low-carbon circular economy. In the future all polymers we use will either be made from plant-based materials or from post-consumption recycled food grades.”

The announcement forms part of Tetra Pak’s recently launched Planet Positive initiative, which urges industry stakeholders to take a broader view of sustainability, evolving the concept of circular economy to a low-carbon circular economy, where we go beyond recycling and reuse to include the carbon impact of raw materials and manufacturing. The use of plant-based materials such as paper and polymers, significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions, supporting economic growth that is decoupled from fossil, finite sources. The plant-based polymers used in some Tetra Pak cartons, like their closures, are produced from sugarcane. Plant-based polymer supplier Braskem has now reached 100% Bonsucro certified volumes of sugarcane derived bioethanol for Tetra Pak’s plant-based solutions, establishing full supply chain transparency.

Gustavo Sergi, Renewable Business Unit Leader at Braskem, said “We have been working with Tetra Pak for more than 10 years, and Bonsucro Chain of Custody reinforces the Responsible Ethanol Sourcing Program from Braskem with the assurance and traceability of the entire sugarcane value chain, all the way back to the growers and mills.”

Danielle Morley, CEO, Bonsucro said “Bonsucro provides a global platform for collective action to accelerate sustainability in the production and processing of sugarcane. Working with Tetra Pak to achieve third-party certification and product labelling of their sugarcane-derived packaging is a milestone.  Customers can be assured that our rigorous sustainability standard has been met. We are very excited to continue to support responsible sourcing at Tetra Pak and for the contribution that certified sustainable sugarcane can make to plant-based packaging.”

Tetra Pak remains committed to sustainable sourcing and forging closer ties with organisations that drive this type of positive change, such as the Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™). Since 2007 Tetra Pak has delivered more than 500 billion FSC labelled packages, proof of the company’s continuous and long-standing commitment to responsible sourcing.

Driving environmental excellence is one of Tetra Pak’s strategic priorities, not just within its own operations, but across the whole value chain. The company is committed to developing a package that contributes to a low-carbon circular economy – that is a package made entirely from plant-based or recycled materials, fully recyclable, without ever compromising on food safety. The Bonsucro certified labels will be available to place on packaging from Q1 2020.​

Source: Tetra Pak, press release, 2019-11-20.

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