Tetra Pak calls for further emissions solutions

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Tetra pak, Carbon dioxide

Packagers and governments alone cannot successfully drive
reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions with a concerted joint
approach the best way to succeed, packaging firm Tetra Pak has said

With dairy groups facing increasing pressure from regulators and consumers to reduce their gas outputs from farmyard and factory, the claims from a major supplier of cartons highlights another area on which to concentrate their environmental focus. Group environmental director Erika Mink today said that industry action needed to be met with international standards and rules to ensure the industry can meet targets on greenhouse gas emissions. "Packaging has a key role to play in supporting moves towards a low carbon economy, as do European policy-makers in creating the right framework for effective business and consumer action,"​ she stated."We need internationally agreed rules and scientifically robust standards for determining the carbon footprint of a given package or product in order to create the right policy support for business action and consumer behavior." ​The claims coincide with the company's one-day convention focusing on creating a Low Carbon Future for business, co-sponsored by the British Retail Consortium. Mink highlighted the fact that packaging sectors has managed to reduce its CO2 output by the equivalent of 25m tonnes over the last ten years, but said that more work was needed. "We believe the packaging sector has the potential to make further contributions to CO2 reduction by a combination of company commitments, voluntary agreements, and partnering with key stakeholders,"​ she stated. The company claimed that as part of its commitment to the World Wildlife Fund's (WWF) Climate Savers Programme, it was working to cut worldwide CO2 emissions by 40,000 tonnes between 2005 and 2010. This is equivalent to an absolute reduction of 10 per cent, the group said. The company added that maximizing renewable material use could also significantly reduce CO2 impact, with 75 per cent of its own cartons now sourced from renewable wood fibres. "It is our aim to offer the packaging solutions with the lowest carbon footprint in our market segments,"​ Mink added. In terms of recycling, a reduction of landfill was highlighted as another key priority areafor Tetra Pak, which claims to currently recycle 21bn cartons a year, with a further 1bn cartons to be added to the drive every year, according to Mink. The packager was not alone in this recycling focus, with 30 per cent of beverage cartons in Europe now recycled into new paper products, a saving equivalent to 300,000 tonnes of CO2 each year, Tetra Pak said. Mink added that the company's attempts at reducing CO2 outputs were already creating benefits for itself and it customers alike. "With the positive response Tetra Pak is getting from retailers and other market stakeholders, our long-term commitments to reduce our carbon footprint now appear to be bearing fruit,"​ she stated.​ Mink suggested that even packaging design could bring benefits for the diary and food industries. "Through the symbols and environmental information it can carry, packaging can help guide consumer and so spread sustainable consumption practices across the European market,"​ she stated.

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