An innovative partnership

Increasing expectations on sustainable consumption requires innovative partnerships. That is why Tetra Pak and BillerudKorsnäs has joined forces to create a new generation beverage packaging designed for recycling.

Growing request for more sustainable solutions places new demands on the beverage carton industry.

New legislation is changing the requirements on consumer packaging. The European Parliament vote in May 2019 on the Single-Use Plastics Directive is only one of many decisions changing the direction. Growing request for more sustainable solutions and increased recyclability from consumers, brand owners and legislators places new demands on the beverage carton industry.

“Especially since many materials will line up and claim that they have the most sustainable solutions”, says Magnus Wikström, Executive Vice President Innovation at BillerudKorsnäs. “That’s why it’s so important that we in the beverage carton industry work together to adapt to the new requirements and as soon as possible.”

Common innovation agenda

Tetra Pak and BillerudKorsnäs have a common innovation agenda to solve some of the major challenges ahead. Increased recyclability is a prioritized and mutual focus where the development of bio based barriers is essential. The mutual innovation journey has already taken off in different work streams with leaders from each party. Magnus Wikström as well as Eva Gustavsson, Vice President D&E Material & Package at Tetra Pak, are both engaged in the common steering committee.

“This is a collaboration infused with energy and enthusiasm, where we already start to see results”, says Magnus Wikström.

It is work in progress and in multiple generations, which means that some of the projects involving bio barriers are under pilot testing while others still are in a lab phase. Magnus Wikström is confident that some shortly will be ready for test production in one of BillerudKorsnäs’ factories.

“In this collaboration we are working together, Tetra Pak and BillerudKorsnäs with a true One team spirit! The openness creates opportunities for us to combine our knowledge and expertise to find solutions”, says Eva Gustavsson.

Renewable beverage carton

One area of investigation is to learn how recycled fibre can be more efficiently used in beverage cartons. The ultimate target for a low-carbon circular economy is a beverage carton produced solely from renewable and recycled packaging materials.

“The challenge is to recycle without downgrading and to be able to reuse the fibre in beverage cartons or other high end applications”, says Magnus Wikström. “Tetra Pak is our most important business partner. We are also part of the same packaging system. That is why this new and deeper level of mutual trust is a great platform for our common and long term innovation journey towards a new generation of beverage cartons.”

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