Tetra Pak launches sustainability report and advocates recyclable value chain
published : 30 Oct 2020 at 10:00
A world-leading processing and packaging solutions company, Tetra Pak provides safe, innovative, and environmentally sound products to hundreds of millions of people in over 160 countries each day. Milk, juice, soy milk, coconut milk, and other beverages of international and local brands are all packed in Tetra Pak carton packages.
But the growing demand for packaged food and beverage means greater environmental footprint from the packaging industry. As a company, Tetra Pak takes the responsibility for its impact very seriously. This is why for the past 20 years and more Tetra Pak has been deeply engaged with integrating sustainability into all its output and operations, and reflected the efforts in annual sustainability reports. Over the past two decades, Tetra Pak’s approach to sustainability reporting has evolved significantly, from its first report in 1999, marking this year 22nd year of sustainability reporting.
“Our new 2020 Sustainability Report takes the theme of ‘Enabling Transformation’,” notes Mr. Supanat Ratanadib, Marketing Director of Tetra Pak (Thailand) Ltd. “We are living in a rapidly changing world with incremental awareness of the interconnected nature of the environment, society, and economy.”
The Marketing Director continued that the transformation Tetra Pak is expecting must be quantifiable and results-driven: “The report serves as a communication device to invite other parties in the industry to join forces with us. After all, sustainability is a public issue. In fact, it goes beyond competition and calls for collaboration.”
Tetra Pak is committed to protecting the sustainable future of the planet, implementing renewable materials and responsible sourcing. Its strategic goals are to lead with low-carbon solutions for a circular economy and enhance sustainability across the value chain, from raw materials sourcing to packaging design to collection and recycling.
The company’s sustainability report also confirms Tetra Pak’s commitment to achieving a low carbon and ultimately climate neutral circular economy. Achieving circular economy involves many small steps, including minimising emissions and waste, protecting biodiversity and ecosystems, maintaining fresh water availability, and promoting recycling and circularity.
The numbers and statistics suggest an impressive picture with Tetra Pak using 69 percent renewable energy in its operations, recycling 50 billion packages in 2019 alone, and in Thailand installing 3,076 roof-mounted solar panels at its Rayong factory, providing 1,350 megawatts of renewable electricity every year, and thereby saving over 850 tons of carbon dioxide emissions into the Earth’s atmosphere.
Lastly, Tetra Pak puts great emphasis on its recycling efforts in Thailand, involving many local recycling projects. Among them is the Green Roof project for Friends in Need (“of Pa”) Volunteers Foundation which has so far collected over 2,300 tons of used cartons to be turned into more than 65,000 roofing sheets to relieve the suffering of victims of natural disasters and other people in need. Then there’s Tetra Pak’s Beverage Carton Recycling Project (BECARE), now in its fourth year, which is recycling over 1,000,000 sheets of paper for 13 schools for the blind in Thailand in partnership with Thai local government and industry organisations. Additionally, Tetra Pak is also partnering with the industry and Bangkok Education Office under Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, engaging with more than 350 schools through the School Milk Carton Recycling project to raise awareness on environment care and educate the best practice of used carton sorting and collection. Total collection volume in 2019 is 77 tons.
Marketing Director Supanat affirmed the company’s ambitious goal of being a leader in packaging and creating the packaging of the future.
“20 years ago, there were still some who assumed UHT milk containers were made entirely of plastic and were unrecyclable. Now, we are helping to build the infrastructure for carton collection and publicise the importance of recycling and circularity. We started small with collecting containers at our own company and spread the message to our customers and consumers. By working together, we hope to lead the sustainability transformation and drive meaningful positive change on a global scale.”