Tetra Pak explores food packaging model with paperboard producers

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This brings together not only producers and suppliers, but also research institutions, universities and start-ups in an attempt to find solutions

Tetra Pak has introduced a new collaborative innovation model with leading paperboard producers, a move aimed at tackling the food packaging industry’s sustainability challenges. The traditional operating model of a linear supply chain has changed, and a new partner ecosystem model is emerging, where the entire industry works in close collaboration. This brings together not only producers and suppliers but also research institutions, universities and start-ups in an attempt to find solutions.

According to the latest research, the global food supply chain system is responsible for 26 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions; a third of all food is lost or wasted somewhere in the supply chain; fossil fuel-based materials need to be phased out, and significant improvements are needed to the way packaging is dealt with after use.

Laurence Mott, Executive VP for Development and Engineering, Tetra Pak, says, “We are joining forces with our strategic partners and paperboard producers to find solutions. It’s possible to make a completely sustainable package, but you have to make it safe. And if you can’t make it at scale, you can’t minimise food waste, and you can’t serve a growing global population. In order to bring those three things together, it takes very strong collaboration.”

The challenges the industry faces include removing the thin layers of plastic and aluminium replacing them with plant or wood fibre-based materials, developing a renewable alternative to the plastic straw, and improving the recyclability of packages. When responsibly sourced, plant-based renewable materials can support protecting biodiversity and the natural ecosystem. This means the industry can minimise the need for fossil-based materials.

And it is these and other challenges on which Tetra Pak and its partners are teaming up within the new collaborative innovation model. Tetra Pak’s aim is to create the world’s most sustainable package – one that secures food safety and availability while reducing the impact on the planet

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