Tetra Pak opts for sugar-based plastic packaging

Lausanne, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – Lausanne-based Tetra Pak, the world’s largest food packaging company, has signed a contract with Brazilian company Braksem for plastic packaging that will be made from sugar cane. Tetra Pak says “the agreement represents the first move toward using green polyethylene in the carton packaging industry.” Braksem, Brazil’s largest petrochemical company, will use ethanol derived from sugar cane to produce ethylene, which will then be converted into polyethylene, the world’s most commonly used plastic.

First deliveries to Tetra Pak are expected in the first half of 2011. The companies say they expect the process to result in a reduction of CO2 emissions compared to traditional methods of making polyethylene. The contract calls for Braksem to deliver 5,000 tons a year, which Tetra Pak will use mainly for plastic caps and seals. The order represents about 1 percent of the company’s plastic purchases.

Tetra Pak has long experience in using responsibly managed resources, it says, as the world’s leading supplier of wood fibre based carton packaging. The company is actively involved with the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) and is supporting the development of a sustainability certification standard to guide the production of renewable raw materials to supply the green plastics chain.

Tetra Pak is also a partner in the WWF Climate Savers Programme and says it is on track to meet its commitment to reduce global carbon emissions by 10 percent in absolute terms between 2005 and 2010.

The company is based in Lausanne, with 150 offices worldwide and 20,000 employees.

Links to other sites: Plastics Today, Tetra Pak