Our carton packs are now even better for the environment: The new "PlantBased" TetraPak consists of 83% plant-based raw materials. In addition to the 70% cardboard that was already renewable so far, there is now plastic from plant sources. And that's 19% better for the climate. In this way, we save more than 1,000 tons of plastic from petroleum and more than 2,000 tons of CO2.
Here we answer the most important questions on this surprisingly exciting topic:
How is a beverage carton constructed?
"Composite beverage cartons" are made of 3 different materials:
Brings the stability - but is sensitive to liquids & moisture. The wood comes from controlled growing with "FSC" seal of approval ("Forest Stewardship Council"). The weight of the cardboard has been optimized and reduced over the years.
The closure and several ultra-thin layers are made of plastic. The innermost layers protect against liquid, the one in the middle bonds the aluminum layer to the carton, and the outside protects against moisture. In the new Plant Based pack, much of the plastic is replaced with plant-based plastic.
Unlike milk, fruit juice must be protected from oxygen. Since plastic and carton are not 100% oxygen-save, the juice packs also have an ultra-thin aluminum layer.
Why does a carton pack need plastic at all?
Cardboard is not waterproof. In order to fill drinks, he needs a plastic coating. In the future, this will be plant-based.
What does "plant based"mean?
So far, plastics have been made almost exclusively from petroleum, because that is the easiest and cheapest. However, it is also possible to produce plastic from vegetable raw materials.
Why is PlantBased better for the climate?
Plant-based raw materials are constantly growing, absorbing CO2 from the air and reducing climate impacts. The new packs have a 19% better carbon footprint than the previous ones, which were already very good.
What packs will be changed?
All 0.2l Tetra and most of the 1l TetraPrisma and 1.5l TetraSlim in our factories in Austria, Hungary and Serbia will be converted, more will follow.
How much CO2 does this save?
This saves more than 1,000t of plastic from oil per year and thus more than 2,000t of CO2 – that would be 10 million kilometers by car or almost 700,000 liters of heating oil.
Why is the pack not 100% Plant Based?
For technical reasons, several types of plastic are needed, not all of which are available plant-based. In addition, the pack has a ultra-thin layer of 4% aluminum to protect the juice from oxygen.
How is "plant based" made?
Sugar cane is turned into bioethanol and polyethylene is made from it. For the layers the soft LDPE, for the cap the hard HDPE.
Is it possible to eat Plant Based?
No. Although the raw material is sugar cane, it has become plastic over several steps.
Can plant-based plastic be recycled?
From a chemical point of view, the plastic is exactly the same as "normal", it can be used and recycled the same way, e.g. via the yellow bag or the yellow bin. It comes only from other raw materials.
Is Plant Based biodegradable?
No. Although biodegradable and compostable plastics usually also consist of plants, they are a different material.
By the way, they need special conditions so that they can be composted, for example, more than 60 degrees for a long time. This does not work in your own compost heap, which is why biodegradable packs, like all packaging, should also be disposed of via plastic recycling.
An exception are the bags for the organic waste, which are allowed.
Is the Amazon rainforest destroyed for sugar cane?
Sugar cane grows more than 2.000km south of the Amazon rainforest, the climate there would not be suitable. The soy cultivation for animal feed is usually to blame for the deforestation of the rainforest – unfortunately also for us in Europe.
What is Bonsucro?
The sugar cane used is Bonsucro certified. The organization Bonsucro promotes sustainable sugar cane cultivation. These include environmental standards such as the protection of forests and nature, as well as social criteria such as higher minimum wages. Many companies and organizations are members, such as the WWF.
Is Plant Based Plastic a competitor to food?
No. Only 0.02% of Brazil's agricultural land is used for plastics. In addition, Brazil is not a country with food shortages. Worldwide, far more food is used for fuels (e.g. biodiesel from rapeseed or palm oil) than for plastic.
How good are beverage cartons at all for beverages?
Beverage cartons have already been among the best packaging for fruit juice:
-They are mostly made of renewable raw materials (paper).
-They are very light and take up little space.
-You need less energy during filling than other packaging
-They protect the juice in the best possible way against oxygen and light
-In Austria, almost 40% of them are recycled, the rest brings electricity and heat in waste incineration.