BRAZIL – Tetra Pak intends to trial the use of bio-based plastic in the production of carton packaging material at its factories in Brazil.
The Swiss company said it plans to sign an agreement with Braskem, the largest thermoplastic resins producer in the Americas, for the supply of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) made from sugar cane to its packaging material factories in Brazil.
This breakthrough initiative, which will be limited in scope to Brazil only for the duration of the trial, is scheduled to start during the first quarter of 2014.
According to the plan, Tetra Pak will use bio-based LDPE as a component of its packages produced in Brazil. The planned move to bio-based LDPE means that 100% of Tetra Pak packages produced in Brazil, about 13 billion units, will have up to 82% packaging material from renewable sources.
Braskem will use ethanol derived from sugar cane to produce ethylene, which will then be converted into LDPE. The LDPE made from renewable sugar cane has the same technical properties as LDPE made from fossil sources, and the environmental benefits of being from a renewable source.
Braskem biopolymers are known under the trademark “I´m green”.
“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. “The expansion of the green products line reinforces our commitment to adding value through sustainable development for the value chain.”
Tetra Pak President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Jönsson said, “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.”