Tetra Pak invests to further boost recycling across EU

Annual capacity of polyAl recycling to increase by over 40,000 tonnes

121
Tetra Pak
Tetra Pak and Alier have forged a collaboration that will consolidate Alier as one of the largest post-consumer carton recyclers in Europe and will help the company to become an integrated player

Tetra Pak announced several strategic investments designed to level up the recycling capacity for carton packages in the European Union (EU). The move supports the goals of the proposed EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR), by ensuring that all packaging components are recycled and valuable raw materials are kept in circulation for longer, therefore showcasing the pivotal role of recycling in the green transition of the food packaging sector.

In 2023, Tetra Pak invested nearly 40 million Euros to accelerate beverage carton recycling worldwide and plans to increase this even further over the coming years to achieve greater material circularity. The recent initiatives and investments are set to boost the EU’s ability to recycle beverage cartons, including the non-fiber protective layers of polyethylene and aluminum, known as ‘polyAl’.

This will be achieved by either unlocking new collaborations or by strengthening the capabilities of established recyclers to turn all materials from post-consumer cartons into new high-quality resources and goods. These add to the existing and well-established recycling infrastructure in the EU, where beverage cartons are recycled in 20 specialized paper mills, with polyAl currently processed by seven facilities (and a further six under development).

Major investments in 2023 include

In Sweden, Tetra Pak and Axjo Group have begun a feasibility study to build a new recycling line for polyAl that will accommodate volumes from Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Fostered by a joint investment of up to 24 million Euros and featuring an annual recycling capacity of 10,000 tonnes, this state-of-the-art facility will recycle and incorporate polyAl into injection molded plastic products made by Axjo, including cable drums, reels, spools and plastic storage boxes.

 In Spain, Tetra Pak and Trans Sabater have co-invested over 2 million Euros and expanded their agreement to increase installed polyAl recycling capacity from 3,000 tonnes to 10,000 tonnes per year. This valuable secondary raw material has unique thermal properties for increased productivity in plastic transformation processes and is exempt from the plastic tax, as it is a 100% recycled material of post-consumer origin. In addition, Trans Sabater’s patented mechanical recycling technology improves the quality of the pellets compared to traditional processes. Potential end markets for recycled polyAl are many, including logistics, packaging, retail and gardening.

Also in Spain, Tetra Pak and Alier have forged a collaboration that will consolidate Alier as one of the largest post-consumer carton recyclers in Europe and will help the company to become an integrated player, able to process all materials from used beverage cartons. Using mechanical recycling, the polyAl will be transformed into high-quality pellets, suitable for a variety of end markets. The ambition is to recycle over 15,000 tonnes of polyAl, per year, by 2025.

In the Netherlands, Tetra Pak has invested 1 million Euros in Recon Polymers’ polyAl recycling plant, in a bid to increase the capacity to at least 8,000 tonnes per year. It will not only improve the efficiency of the process but specifically advance material circularity across France, Belgium and the Netherlands. The material’s versatility means it can then be transformed into a range of everyday items including reusable pallets, interiors and large-format 3D printed objects.

Markus Pfanner, vice-president, sustainability operations at Tetra Pak, comments: “For us, this goes beyond industry investment. It’s part of the transformation 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.”

He continues: “Beverage cartons are recyclable. They are recycled wherever the necessary collection, sorting and recycling infrastructure is in place, at scale, so naturally, expanding this infrastructure is a priority for us. Projects such as these ensure that consumers can continue to safely access food, and that once they have done so, those cartons can be recycled, keeping quality resources in the loop and reducing the use of virgin content.”

Packaging South Asia — resilient, growing and impactful — daily, monthly — always responsive

The multi-channel B2B in print and digital 17-year-old platform matches the industry’s growth trajectory. The Indian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Middle East packaging industries are looking beyond the resilience of the past three years. They are resuming capacity expansion and diversification, with high technology and automation in new plants and projects.

As we present our 2024 publishing plan, India’s real GDP growth for the financial year ending 31 March 2024 will exceed 6%. The packaging industry growth will match the GDP growth in volume terms and surpass it by at least 3% in terms of nominal growth allowing for price inflation in energy, raw materials, consumables, and capital equipment.

The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 45% over the past four years. With orders in place, we expect another 20% capacity addition in 2024 and 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels are growing similarly. As the consumption story returns over the next six months, we expect demand to return and exceed the growth trajectory of previous years. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – and as shown by our analytics, our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

For responsible and sustainable packaging, with its attendant regulations and compliances, there is significant headroom to grow in India and the region. Our coverage includes the entire packaging supply chain – from concept to shelf and to waste collection, sorting, and recycling.

We target brand owners, product managers, raw material suppliers, packaging designers and converters, and recyclers. This is a large and complex canvas – the only thing that can work is your agile thinking and innovation together with our continuous learning and persistence.

The coming year looks to be an up year in this region, and this is the right time to plan your participation and marketing communication – in our rich and highly targeted business platform with human resources on the ground. Share your thoughts and plans to inspire and mobilize our editorial and advertising teams!

For editorial info@ippgroup.in — for advertisement ads1@ippgroup.in and for subscriptions subscription@ippgroup.in

– Naresh Khanna (25 October 2023)

Subscribe Now
unnamed 1

NEWSLETTER

Subscribe to our Newsletter

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here