As global demand for packaged foods increases, the need for sustainable solutions becomes more urgent. Much of the food packaging used today is made from fossil-based plastic, and if plastic production continues to increase, by 2050 it could account for 15% of the planet’s annual carbon emissions budget.
But there is hope on the horizon. As consumers demand more climate-friendly solutions, food producers and retailers are responding, using more plant-based alternatives in their packaging. Renewable resources of plant origin are natural materials, such as wood and sugar cane, that absorb CO2 from the atmosphere as they grow,” he said.
For Guillermo Pugliese, Director of Sustainability at Tetra Pak, one hope is that consumers are demanding more climate-friendly solutions and with it, food producers and retailers are responding.
“They are using more plant-based alternatives in their packaging. Renewable plant-based resources are natural materials, such as wood and sugar cane, that absorb CO2 from the atmosphere as they grow,” commented Pugliese.
Responsible sourcing of materials
Currently Tetra Pak packages are made of 70% cardboard from renewable wood fibers. And they are working to increase this, for example by offering plastic caps made from sugar cane.
“To ensure that our materials are sourced in a responsible and sustainable way, we are working with voluntary sustainability standards, such as those of the Forest Stewardship Council. 100% of our packaging is FSCTM certified, which means that the forests where we source our raw materials are managed in a way that protects biodiversity and ensures renewability,” added Pugliese. “We want to ensure a responsible supply, even when exploring new alternatives in renewable packaging, which is why all of our sugarcane-based plastics are Bonsucro certified. This means that it is fully traceable to the origin of the sugarcane, ensuring transparency that drives ethical and responsible business practices throughout the supply chain” he concluded.