The Swedish-headquartered company said the traditional operating model of a linear supply chain has changed, and a new partnership ecosystem model is emerging, where the entire industry works in close collaboration. This brings together not only producers and suppliers, but also research institutions, universities and start-ups in an attempt to find solutions.
According to the latest research, the global food supply chain system is responsible for 26% of global greenhouse gas emissions; a third of all food is lost or wasted somewhere in the supply chain; fossil fuel-based materials need to be phased out; and improvements are needed to the way packaging is dealt with after use.
Laurence Mott, executive VP for development and engineering at Tetra Pak, said, "We are joining forces with our strategic partners and paperboard producers to find solutions. It's possible to make a completely sustainable package, but you have to make it safe. And if you can't make it at scale, you can't minimize food waste, and you can't serve a growing global population. In order to bring those three things together, it takes very strong collaboration."
Mott said the scale of the environmental challenges the world faces requires those within the value chain joining forces to develop sustainable packaging solutions.
Tetra Pak said paperboard producers are united in their approach to tackle carbon emissions and have an ambition to create a net-zero carbon future.
Hannu Kasurinen, executive vice president packaging at Stora Enso, a global provider of renewable solutions, said, "We trust, we share, we learn together. Our best innovators collaborate, and we move forward and we innovate. Sometimes we fail, but then we learn from those failures. We have grown much closer to each other, because we have the same strategic objectives – which are good for the people and the planet."
Francisco Razzolini, industrial technology, innovation, sustainability and projects director at Klabin, Brazil's largest paper producer, added, "We are seeing new demands from society and from consumers to make products and processes that are more sustainable. Meeting these demands requires a lot of collaboration between our companies. By sharing experiences, thoughts, ideas and developments, we can speed up the innovation process."
Malin Ljung Eiborn, head of sustainability and public affairs at BillerudKorsnäs, global provider of fiber-based packaging material, said, "The vision is 100% fiber-based and fully recyclable packaging, where plastic and aluminum are not needed any more. We still have, of course, some steps to go before we are there from a technical perspective. But we work as one project team on this because the only way that we can solve them is to do this together."
The challenges the industry faces include removing the thin layers of plastic and aluminum replacing them with plant or wood fiber-based materials, developing a renewable alternative to the plastic straw, and improving the recyclability of packages.
Tetra Pak said its aim is to create the world's most sustainable package – one that secures food safety and availability while reducing the impact on the planet.