Food and Beverage Business

Tetra Pak dedicates substantial resources to enhance recycling efforts in the European Union

Tetra Pak dedicates substantial resources to enhance recycling efforts in the European Union European union, Initiatives, investment, recycling, Tetra Pak Food and Beverage Business

Tetra Pak has announced a series of strategic investments aimed at enhancing the recycling capacity for carton packages across the European Union (EU), aligning with the proposed EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR). These investments are pivotal in facilitating the transition towards sustainable food packaging and accentuate the company’s commitment to achieving greater material circularity.

In 2023, Tetra Pak allocated nearly €40 million to accelerate beverage carton recycling globally, with plans for further increased investment in the coming years to drive material circularity.

These initiatives and investments are set to bolster the EU’s capacity to recycle beverage cartons, including the non-fibre protective layers of polyethylene and aluminium, referred to as ‘polyAl’. This will involve forging new collaborations and enhancing the capabilities of established recyclers to transform all materials from post-consumer cartons into high-quality resources and goods. Currently, beverage cartons are recycled in 20 specialized paper mills, while polyAl is processed by seven facilities, and an additional six are in development.

In Sweden, Tetra Pak and Axjo Group have initiated a feasibility study to construct a new recycling line for polyAl, with an annual recycling capacity of 10,000 tonnes. In Spain, Tetra Pak and Trans Sabater have co-invested over €2 million to expand the polyAl recycling capacity from 3,000 to 10,000 tonnes per year, enhancing the valuable secondary raw material’s thermal properties for increased productivity in plastic transformation processes.

Further synergies binding Tetra Pak and Alier will consolidate Alier as one of the largest post-consumer carton recyclers in Europe. In the Netherlands, Tetra Pak invested €1 million in Recon Polymers’ polyAl recycling plant, with the aim to increase the capacity to at least 8,000 tonnes per year.

Markus Pfanner, vice president sustainability operations at Tetra Pak, emphasized that these collaborations go beyond industry investment. They epitomize a shift towards a circular economy and an investment in the future of the planet. “These innovative collaborations, at the intersection of human ingenuity, technology, and finance, demonstrate the value of beverage cartons within sustainable food systems,” said Pfanner. “Beverage cartons are recyclable and recycled wherever the necessary collection, sorting, and recycling infrastructure is in place, at scale. Expanding this infrastructure is a key priority for us.”

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