Tetra Pak to Add Bioplastic Caps in 2011

Tetra Pak to Add Bioplastic Caps in 2011

Boxed wine - http://www.flickr.com/photos/richardwinchell/ / CC BY-ND 2.0

Tetra Pak will begin using bioplastic caps and closures in 2011. The company has made an agreement with Brazilian petrochemical company Braskem SA to purchase high-density polyethylene (HDPE, a commonly-recycled plastic identified by the number 2 resin code) derived from sugar cane.

Braskem SA aims to have a commercial-scale production plant south of Brazil up and running in late 2010 and will begin delivering the bio-based HDPE to Tetra Pak in 2011. Braskem SA will use ethanol derived from sugar cane to make ethylene, and then convert it into polyethylene.

Tetra Pak will purchase 5 kilotonnes of HDPE per year, which accounts for a little over 5 percent of its HDPE needs and less than 1 percent of it overall plastic purchases. The company expects the production of bio-based HDPE to result in fewer greenhouse gas emissions than producing HDPE from fossil fuels.

Moving to bio-based plastic is one of the steps Tetra Pak has been taking to improve the impacts of its packaging. It has been switching its packaging in more and more countries to Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified materials, most recently announced it will start using FSC-certified paperboard for packaging in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Boxed wine - http://www.flickr.com/photos/richardwinchell/ / CC BY-ND 2.0