Tetra Pak has announced that customers have started field testing its paper straws for beverage products in Europe. The move means Tetra Pak is the first carton packaging company to provide such straws for beverage cartons in the region.
The company also announced its intention to publish and share its innovations on paper straw developments to support industrial collaboration on the alternatives to single use plastic straws for beverage cartons.
Adolfo Orive, President and CEO, Tetra Pak said: “We are pleased to have developed a paper straw that is fully functional and meets internationally recognised food safety standards. This is an important step in our vision to deliver a package made entirely from plant-based packaging materials, contributing to a low-carbon circular economy.
“We have decided not to apply for patent protection on the numerous technical improvements we have made on the equipment and the materials, and instead put our innovations into the public domain. For the industry to achieve its common goal of driving towards a low-carbon circular economy, the entire supply base for paper straws must expand and grow quickly. We invite all suppliers and customers to use our knowledge and join forces with us to ramp up production as quickly as possible.”
Made from FSC™ certified paper and recyclable with the rest of the package, the new paper straw will be available initially for two small size carton packages commonly used for dairy and beverage products for children: Tetra Brik® Aseptic 200 Base and Tetra Brik®Aseptic 200 Base Crystal.
The field testing of the paper straw is beginning with limited volumes while the company increases production capacity at its straw plant in Lisbon, Portugal.
The company also announced that it has been assessing technical advancements and working with a number of technology leaders to explore biodegradable options, such as polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), a polymer derived from plant-based materials which is also biodegradable.
Other sustainable drink-from development projects in Tetra Pak’s pipeline include tethered caps and integrated drink-from systems. The company has mobilised development and supply chain teams, securing extra resources to advance these priority plans.