Tetra Pak has announced it will use bio-based low-density polyethylene (LDPE) on all of its packages produced in Brazil as of April 22.
Coca-Cola Brazil was the first company to use the packages for its Del Valle juice beverages, previously sold in regular cartons, earlier this year.
Following its success, the pilot is being extended to include all 150 customers that source from Tetra Pak Brazil - approximately 13bn packs a year.
Eduardo Eisler, business strategy VP Central and South America, told FoodProductionDaily the company is always looking to improve its products, whether that is based on their material composition or functionality.
“We believe the best way to meet the challenge of a growing scarcity of raw materials is to increase the use of renewable resources. Bio-based polyethylene is made from renewable sources, unlike traditional fossil-fuel derived polyethylene,” he said.
“Our 2020 strategic priority to drive environmental excellence was set in 2010 and includes environmental targets within three key areas: environmental footprint, sustainable products and recycling.
“One of our goals is to achieve a fully renewable package. To help us achieve this, we launched the first bio-based HDPE caps in Brazil in 2011, and later expanded to a global launch for other selected caps in 2013.
“Using bio-based low-density polyethylene coating is another step toward this goal. The bio-polymer is made from sugar cane ethanol, by our local polymer supplier Braskem.”
Combined with paperboard, LDPE made from sugar cane increases the content of materials from renewable sources to as much as 82% in a Tetra Brik Aseptic 1000ml Base package.
Tetra Pak has initially prioritised the Brazilian market but intends to expand the offer to more markets in future.
Eisler added its Brazilian factories supply customers across South America and this is its focus right now.
However, he said: “We are interested in other geographies as well as other bio-based feedstocks. But, at this stage no plans have been made beyond Brazil for bio-based LDPE.”
Two Brazilian factories
“Since April 22, all packages produced in Brazil use bio-based LDPE, which means all customers who source from Tetra Pak’s two Brazilian factories will receive these new packages,” added Eisler.
“Coca-Cola Brazil was the first Tetra Pak customer to deploy the packages for their Del Valle range of juices.
“Our current focus is on ensuring the roll out of the packages with bio-based LDPE coating is successful across Brazil. In the longer term, we are focused on developing a fully renewable package.
“Sourcing low density polyethylene made from sugar cane, a renewable resource, for the protective layers of our packaging is an important milestone in that journey to develop fully renewable packaging.”