The world’s first package made entirely from plant-based materials, which launched in January 2015, is widely-used across Finland, Sweden and Norway, with brands such as Arla Foods, TINE, Valio and Vermlands Mejeri.
Mario Abreu, vice president environment for Tetra Pak told DairyReporter that Scandinavia was a good start point for the product.
“Scandinavia has many consumers that are focused on their environmental impact, so it was natural to begin here. However, we have already received interest from a number of customers in other parts of the world and will soon announce their deployment of the package,” Abreu said.
Improving profile of customers
Abreu continued that companies using the product want to expand its use.
“There is a common understanding in the industry that increasing the use of renewable materials reduces the strain on global resources and thereby protects the sustainability of our industry and the future of the planet. This is proven by the first year success of Tetra Rex Bio-based,” he told DR.
“We see a clear trend that more and more customers are interested in the package. The customers who have launched their products in the package are encouraged by its popularity among consumers and want to expand the deployment to more of their products.
“From the perspective of overall supply chain management, Tetra Pak’s progression towards fully renewable packages improves the environmental profile of our customers,” he said.
Bjørn Malm, head of corporate responsibility at Norwegian dairy company TINE, said, “We believe growing our business sustainably is not just good for the environment, it also improves our competitiveness and provides product differentiation. Thanks to Tetra Rex Bio-based we have been able to take a significant step towards our own environmental goals and have committed to making all our milk cartons renewable from next year.”
Goal of 100% renewable packaging
The economics of the packaging also made sense, Abreu said.
“There are several ways plant-based packages can help increase value for us and our customers, such as revenue generation (due to higher consumers’ and retailers’ preference), and brand equity (outstanding reputation, positive stakeholder management).
“Tetra Rex Bio-based requires no additional investment from our customers to manufacture and its success with Valio and Arla Foods shows that the environmental profile of a brand generates value and product differentiation.”
Charles Brand, executive vice president product management & commercial operations at Tetra Pak, said, “We are proud to be the first company to deliver a package made entirely from plant-based materials. This is a significant milestone in Tetra Pak’s long term ambition to provide 100 per cent renewable packaging across our product portfolio.”