Tetra Pak, a world-leading processing and packaging solutions company, is highlighting some of its recent recycling initiatives that are helping to keep valuable materials in use and out of landfills. These initiatives are part of the investments that the company has been making for decades, to support collection and recycling infrastructure across the world, including Thailand, in order to grow the number of recycling operations handling cartons worldwide from 40 in 2010 to more than 200 today.
According to the World Bank, global waste is predicted to increase 70% by 2050, unless immediate and significant action is taken. Despite its essential role in feeding a growing global population, food packaging can add to the issue if not properly collected and recycled.
Tetra Pak’s recent collaborations are focused on creating additional recycling capacity, increasing collection rates, and ensuring that materials from post-consumer beverage cartons can re-enter the economy.
Patinya Silsupadol, Head of Sustainability at Tetra Pak (Thailand) Limited, said, “Packaging circularity turns into life when all materials are recycled and turned into new valuable products. Tetra Pak has joined forces with Eco-Friendly Thai and Advanced Mat, innovative companies specializing in recycling technology, to increase recycling capacity in Thailand. These collaborations enhance the value of used beverage carton across the recycling industry, and create a system, where carton fibres are reused and the polyAl components are also recycled into new items.”
“We exercise our own unique recycling process technology and the capacity of our facilities to maximise the benefit of every part of those beverage cartons. We can now see improved pulping process to recover higher fibre yield percentage and better polyAl quality, adding value to the recycled materials for other industries,” said Somyos Watapanich, Managing Director of Eco-Friendly Thai Co., Limited.
“Advanced Mat is keen to develop newly designed products from the recycled materials. We have recently introduced new products such as street furniture and wall panels using the polyAl components from used beverage cartons,” said Promthep Komson, Co-Founder, Advanced Mat Co., Limited.
Paper-based beverage cartons are recyclable where adequate collection, sorting and recycling infrastructures are in place. Tetra Pak estimates that, globally, 1.2 million tonnes of beverage cartons have been collected and sent for recycling in 2021. But the picture is very fragmented across the globe and long-lasting change can only happen through collective action, transformational innovation, and bold investments.
In 2022, Tetra Pak put nearly €30 million into projects worldwide, with plans to go further and invest up to €40 million annually over the next years, in line with its targets on collection and recycling of beverage cartons. From expanding recycling capacity via multi-stakeholder cooperation, through boosting new market opportunities for recycled materials to re-inventing sorting for a more holistic waste management system, Tetra Pak’s recycling initiatives help turn all components of a used beverage carton into quality materials and goods.