As the global demand for packaged foods rises, the need to find more sustainable packaging solutions becomes more urgent. And as consumers demand more climate-friendly solutions, food producers and retailers are responding by using more plant-based alternatives in their packaging. Plant-based renewable resources are natural materials, such as wood and sugarcane, that absorb CO2 from the atmosphere as they grow.
The greater the share of renewable materials a package contains, the lower the climate impact. That makes renewable packaging an important part of the move towards a low-carbon circular economy. As the use of renewable materials grows, responsible, sustainable sourcing will become even more important. To maintain fragile ecosystems, companies will need to promote biodiversity, land restoration and regeneration of the land.
Tetra Pak’s ambition is to deliver the world’s most sustainable food package. Currently, Tetra Pak's carton packages are made of on average 70 per cent paperboard from renewable wood fibres. And they’re working to increase this by, for instance, offering paper-based straws and sugarcane-based plastic layers and caps.
To ensure that materials are sourced responsibly and sustainably, Tetra Pak is working to voluntary sustainability standards, such as those from the Forest Stewardship CouncilTM (FSCTM). All Tetra Pak packages are FSCTM certified, meaning that the forests that serve as a source for raw materials are managed in a way that protects biodiversity and ensures renewability.
Tetra Pak wants to ensure responsible sourcing, even when exploring new alternatives in renewable packaging, which is why all their sugarcane-based plastic is Bonsucro certified. This means it’s fully traceable to its sugarcane origin, ensuring a transparency that drives ethical, responsible business practices across the full supply chain.
The company also aims for fully recyclable carton packages made solely from renewable and recycled materials.