Tetra Pak goes green in Brazil

In what is claimed to be a first for the carton packaging industry, Tetra Pak has announced plans to use low-density polyethylene (LDPE) for all its Tetra Pak packages produced in Brazil.

The company says it plans to sign an agreement with Braskem, the largest thermoplastic resins producer in the Americas, for the supply of LDPE made from sugar cane to its packaging material factories in Brazil. Braskem’s biopolymers are marketed under the trademark I’m green.

The bio-based LDPE will be trialled in Brazil, commencing in Q1 2014. The move will mean that all Tetra Pak packages produced in Brazil will have up to 82% packaging material from renewable sources.

“The new agreement to be signed with Braskem demonstrates our commitment to bring environmental innovations to our customers and is a further step in our journey to develop fully renewable packages,” said Tetra Pak President and CEO Dennis Jönsson.

Ethanol derived from sugar cane will be used to produce the ethylene, which will then be converted into LDPE. The bio-based LDPE reportedly has the same technical properties as LDPE made from fossil sources, plus the environmental benefits of coming from a renewable source.

“The new bio-based I’m green LDPE is as inert, resistant and recyclable as the polyethylene made from fossil sources, but contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during the sugar cane growth process,” said Braskem President Carlos Fadigas.

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