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Chemistry, Materials & Packaging
European Packaging Solutions Continue to Drive a Circular Economy

Ambitions of a circular economy continue to drive decisions around Europe as more circular packaging solutions emerge as a prominent piece to the puzzle.

Following the launch last month of its Groundwork platform, renewable packaging giant Tetra Pak has announced a tangible, closed-loop solution in a new version of its Tetra Brik® Aseptic 1000 Edge Bio-based LightCap™ 30. The new carton features a bio-based plastic film and cap, made from polymers from sugar cane. Combined with the paperboard, this lifts the share of materials from renewable sources in the package to above 80 percent, the threshold for four-star certification from Vinçotte, the Belgium-based accreditation agency that assesses the renewable content of packaging products.

“Increasing the use of renewable materials, defined as natural resources that can be replenished over time, plays an increasingly important role in mitigating resource scarcity and climate change,” said Philippe Dewolfs, the President of the Certification Committee from Vinçotte. “This is the only aseptic carton package we have certified so far and it has qualified for four-star certification.”

The new package also boasts up to 17 percent lower carbon footprint than a standard package, according to an independent lifecycle analysis conducted by IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.

“There is a growing trend that consumers want to do more for the planet, and they want brand owners to help,” said Charles Brand, EVP of Product Management and Commercial Operations at Tetra Pak. “Our ultimate goal is to produce all of our packages using only sustainably-managed renewable materials. Launching the new Tetra Brik Aseptic 1000 Edge Bio-based LightCap 30 package is a significant milestone for us on that journey.”

Meanwhile, Belgium-headquartered Pack2Go Europe, an NGO representing companies that manufacture packaging for the food and beverages consumed on-the-go in Europe, has launched a circular economy initiative that aims to increase the amount of on-the-go food/beverage and convenience packaging that can be recycled.

Mike Turner, of International Paper Foodservice Europe and current president of Pack2Go Europe, said: “More and better out-of-home collection is the key to recycling our products once the consumer has finished her drink, snack or meal – whether that is in a restaurant setting or on-the-go – but we can’t make that happen alone. So Pack2Go Europe is announcing its commitment to bring together key stakeholders in Europe next year. We’ll be calling on them to join us in a sustained initiative to tackle this challenge head on and take these packs into the circular model.”

Pack2Go Europe states that with key partners it can review how food and beverage service and convenience packaging can be more effectively collected, recovered and recycled. The initiative will focus on two main out-of home areas - the first being restaurants, canteens and premises where vending machines operate; the second, in public spaces in towns and countryside.

“Pack2Go Europe is calling on the European Parliament and EU member states to amend EU waste legislation so that out-of-home collection of packaging will become a reality in the future,” said Eamonn Bates, Pack2Go Europe’s Secretary General. “Ensuring everyone works together to separately collect and recycle is the circular approach; measures that will disrupt Europe’s single market are not the solution.”


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