Thanks to carton packages, nutritious foods like milk and fruit juices can be stored safely until you're ready to drink them.
Visit the local supermarket and there are so many different kinds of packages on the shelves. As an environmentally conscious consumer, how do you figure out which to choose? It helps to know exactly what you're buying. See what goes into a Tetra Pak package below.
The main ingredient in all our packages is paperboard. We use just enough to make the package stable, without adding unnecessary weight. Paperboard is a renewable raw material, made from wood.
Thin layers of polyethylene - a commonly used plastic - are added to seal in the liquid and protect the product from external moisture.
Packages designed to store food without refrigeration also contain a thin layer of aluminium foil. This protects the product from oxygen, flavours and light.
if it's possible to recycle the layered material in Tetra Pak packages? It is! The packages can be repulped in a paper recycling mill. When they're soaked in water, the wood fibres work free from the plastic and aluminium, so the separated materials can be turned into new products.
Tetra Pak packages are mostly made of wood, which is a renewable material.
Renewable simply means that the supply regrows naturally. Wood is renewed when trees grow at the same rate or faster than they are cut down. Tetra Pak only buys paperboard from suppliers who ensure that their wood comes from known and acceptable sources.
how we can be so sure the wood comes from reliable sources? We choose certified suppliers and work with them to ensure environmental standards are met. We also work with expert groups such as WWF and FSC™ to help promote responsible forestry worldwide.
A well-managed forest provides wood for different products while continuing to thrive, maintaining biodiversity and providing a habitat for many animals, insects and plants.
A well managed forest also gives us lots of things beside raw materials for packages. For example, jobs for local communities and a more pleasant natural environment. And of course, forests transform CO2 into oxygen, helping to combat climate change, at the same time as making the air cleaner.
Tetra Pak publishes a Forestry Guideline which explains our ambition "to guarantee that all the wood fibre we use is traceable from tree to store, that it comes from responsibly managed forests, and that our suppliers achieve traceability and forest management certification". More
In an ideal world we would use only natural, renewable raw materials in our packages. One of our main challenges is to develop new technologies which will make this possible.
Global Forest & Trade Network is WWF's initiative to eliminate illegal logging and transform the global marketplace into a force for saving the world's valuable and threatened forests.
As wood is the main material in our packaging, it's natural we are interested in conserving all forests, not just those we use for our packages.
That's why we work with trusted global organisations such as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) and Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™) to increase responsible forestry worldwide.
Here are a few examples of projects we have been involved with:
An FSC™ label tells you that the packaging material comes from responsibly managed forests and other controlled sources. These forests are managed so that they can make a real contribution to the needs of future generations - socially, economically and ecologically. Some of our packages already carry the FSC™ logo and we're rapidly expanding this initiative.
Forest Stewardship Council™
We launched the first FSC™-labelled package in 2007. In 2009, we delivered more than 2.3 billion of them.
To learn more about the production of Green Plastic, click here to watch our animated "Making Of" film.
But making a totally plant-based carton isn't as simple as it sounds, because making sure your food reaches you in perfect condition isn't easy. That's why no one's managed to make a totally renewable carton - yet. We're getting there, though. As of today, our cartons are made out of 70% renewable paperboard, and we're introducing cap made with green plastics.
There are lots of ways - big and small - in which you can contribute to a more sustainable future. Try these links and suggestions to get started.