Fully renewable food carton packaging on trial in Finland

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 18th February 2015
Fully renewable food carton packaging on trial in Finland
Fully renewable food carton packaging on trial in Finland

Global packaging company Tetra Pak has launched new carton packaging made entirely from plant-based materials, with the first product to use the packaging available in retail shops in Finland.

Finland is a world leader in forestry and paper production. Tetra Pak is a multinational food packaging and processing company of Swedish origin.

Finnish dairy producer Valio has become the first company in the world to sell products to consumers in the carton packaging made entirely from plant-based materials. The Company will trial the packaging until mid-March 2015.

The package, Tetra Rex Bio-based, is manufactured solely from a combination of plastics derived from plants and paperboard. Tetra Pak said it marked a world first, and signalled “an important milestone” in Tetra Pak’s to move towards greater “environmental performance” across all parts of its portfolio and operations.

Valio trial

Valio will trial the package with Valio Eila lactose free semi-skimmed milk drink in retail outlets across Finland until mid-March 2015, and will then use feedback from consumers to decide whether to adopt the cartons more broadly across its chilled product range.

Valio is a dairy product company owned by Finnish dairy farmers. Valio’s turnover in 2013 was EUR 2,000 million and the Company employs 4,600 people.

“Valio is committed to increasing the share of renewable resources in its packaging material,” said Elli Siltala, Marketing Director at Valio. “We share a common vision of innovation and environmental responsibility with Tetra Pak and we are proud to be the first in the world to make our products available in a fully renewable carton package,” she said.

The products will be available in one-litre capacity Tetra Rex Bio-based packages, with a TwistCap OSO 34 opening. They will be produced at Valio’s Jyväskylä dairy in Finland, using a standard Tetra Pak TR/28 filling machine.

Tetra Pak moves towards renewable materials

Charles Brand, Executive Vice President of Product Management and Commerical Operations for Tetra Pak said the Company had been gradually increasing the use of renewable materials in its packaging over the years. He said that the work would continue as the company looks “for ways to extend the fully-renewable concept to other parts of our portfolio without compromising safety, quality or functionality”.

“To finally see fully renewable packages on shop shelves is a fantastic feeling, and bears testimony to the focused efforts of the many customers, suppliers and Tetra Pak employees involved in making this a reality,” Mr Brand said.

In Tetra Rex Bio-based cartons, the low density polyethylene used to create the laminate film for the packaging material and the neck of the opening, together with the high density polyethylene used for the cap, are all derived from sugar cane. These plastics, like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC​)certified paperboard, are traceable to their origins.

The Tetra Rex fully renewable package can be identified by the words “Bio-based” printed on the gable of the package. ​