Tetra Pak first to use fully traceable polymer sugarcane packaging

Deborah Williams 20 November 2019 (Last Updated November 20th, 2019 14:25)

Multinational food and beverage packaging company Tetra Pak, in collaboration with plant-based polymer supplier Braskem, has become the first company in the food and drink sector to offer packaging made from responsibly-sourced plant-based polymers, using the Bonsucro standards for sustainable sugar cane.

Tetra Pak first to use fully traceable polymer sugarcane packaging
Tetra Pak first to use fully traceable polymer sugarcane packaging. Credit: Tetra Pak

Multinational food and beverage packaging company Tetra Pak, in collaboration with plant-based polymer supplier Braskem, has become the first company in the food and drink sector to offer packaging made from responsibly-sourced plant-based polymers, using the Bonsucro standards for sustainable sugar cane.

Tetra Pak said that this move is another reinforcement of its pledge to push ethical and responsible business practices across global supply chains, while reducing the carbon footprint of its packaging.

Tetra Pak VP sustainability Mario Abreu said: “We’ve seen a growing trend of consumers wanting to do more for the planet and they look to brands to help. Today, 91% of consumers look for environmental logos when shopping and Bonsucro Chain of Custody Certification can be used to communicate credible information to consumers, thereby helping our customers differentiate their products.

“Our plant-based polymers are fully traceable to their sugarcane origin. We see plant-based materials as playing a key role in achieving a low-carbon circular economy. In the future, all polymers we use will either be made from plant-based materials or from post-consumption recycled food grades.”

The use of the fully-traceable plant-based polymer packaging is a part of Tetra Pak’s Planet Positive initiative. The initiative encourages industry sponsors to wider their view of sustainability, to ultimately produce a low-carbon circular economy – moving past recycling and reuse to include the carbon impact of raw materials and manufacturing.

Sugarcane sustainability: How is the packaging industry using the resource?

Sugarcane-derived packaging has grown in popularity over the years, due to its sustainable properties.

Tetra Pak’s use of polymer sugarcane packaging will help significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions and support economic growth that is separate from fossil and limited sources.

Braskem, Tetra Pak’s supplier, is now 100% certified against the Bonsucro volumes of sugarcane derived bioethanol, for the company’s plant-based packaging. This move has allowed for full transparency in the supply chain.

Braskem renewable business unit leader Gustavo Sergi said: “We have been working with Tetra Pak for more than ten years and Bonsucro Chain of Custody reinforces the Responsible Ethanol Sourcing Programme from Braskem, with the assurance and traceability of the entire sugarcane value chain, all the way back to the growers and mills.”

Bonsucro CEO Danielle Morley said: “Bonsucro provides a global platform for collective action to accelerate sustainability in the production and processing of sugarcane. Working with Tetra Pak to achieve third-party certification and product labelling of their sugarcane-derived packaging is a milestone.  Customers can be assured that our rigorous sustainability standard has been met. We are very excited to continue to support responsible sourcing at Tetra Pak and for the contribution that certified sustainable sugarcane can make to plant-based packaging.”​​