Joining forces with leading beverage producers, Tetra Pak is launching tethered caps on carton packages. Marking a significant milestone in the company’s long-term work on design for recycling, five new tethered cap solutions are currently being introduced across Ireland, the Baltics , Spain and Germany in different product categories – a market first for these geographies. As part of a wider programme, this development paves the way for Europe-based customers to stay ahead of schedule and meet the Single Use Plastics Directive coming into force by 2024.
Julia Luscher, Vice President Marketing, Tetra Pak, comments: “We are delighted to be supplying a number of customers with tethered cap solutions, helping them to ‘walk the talk’ towards their sustainability ambitions. Understanding our customers’ needs and having collected consumer insights through multiple pieces of research across various markets, our new tethered caps have been designed to enhance convenience. For instance, they are easy to open and re-close for subsequent consumption, while featuring carefully sized diameters for smooth pouring and drinking.”
Tethered caps play an important role in preventing litter, as the cap will stay attached to the package. They could also help reduce the carbon footprint of the carton when they are chosen by food manufacturers as plant-based options, made from polymers derived from responsibly sourced sugarcane, thereby increasing the renewable content of the package. Additionally, a majority of Tetra Pak’s tethered cap portfolio features a reduced amount of plastic. Depending on the various solutions, the company achieved a plastic content reduction ranging between 7% and 15%.
Marco Marchetti, Vice President Packaging Materials, Sales and Distribution Solutions, Tetra Pak, adds, “We are planning to equip approximately 300 packaging lines with tethered caps in Europe by the end of 2022. Considering the scale of change required across the value chain, early collaborations like these are putting the food and beverage industry on a fast track to accelerate the transition to a low carbon circular economy.”
The company has also heavily invested towards an improved manufacturing experience for customers. Tetra Pak’s new high quality, automated production lines for tethered caps utilise Artificial Intelligence technology for increased efficiency.
Marchetti concludes, “We are on a journey towards creating the world’s most sustainable food package, a carton that is fully made from responsibly sourced renewable or recycled materials, is fully recyclable and carbon-neutral. We are ramping up investment in the development of alternative solutions across our packaging portfolio such as tethered caps and other drink-from systems, to reduce littering while increasing the renewable share of our cartons. In total, we are investing around €400m in the development and roll-out of tethered cap solutions, including a €100m investment last year in our Châteaubriant plant in France to accelerate the production of tethered closures. By working seamlessly across multiple project streams and covering approximately 40 different packages with tethered caps, we expect to sell over 1.5 bn such closures by year end.”