Tetra Pak has become the first carton packaging player in the food and beverage industry to launch a cap using certified recycled polymers. Elvir, a subsidiary of French milk processor Savencia Fromage & Dairy, has chosen to package the cream products it markets under the Elle & Vire brand in Tetra Brik Aseptic 1L Slim carton packages featuring Tetra Pak’s sustainable HeliCap 23 cap solution.
“By adopting caps which integrate attributed1 recycled polymers, Elle & Vire is a pioneer in circularity,” explained Annick Renou, global marketing director at Elvir. “Based on recent research, approximately three in four French consumers are concerned with environmental issues, and the same number say that their purchase intention increases if a brand is addressing sustainability issues.”
The HeliCap 23 is a one-step resealable screw cap that is manufactured at Tetra Pak’s Châteaubriant plant in Loire-Atlantique, France. The site had a production capacity of approximately 5 billion caps in 2020. The new, easy-to-open, tamper-evident cap incorporates mass-balanced recycled polymers that are manufactured under the RSB chain of custody attribution method. In other words, the plastics from which the caps are made consist of are a mix of recycled and non-recycled materials, with the corresponding mass of recycled materials tracked throughout the Tetra Pak supply chain. This is verified by a third-party auditor according to the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) Chain of Custody Procedure, which forms part of the RSB Advanced Products certification.
Tetra Pak’s Châteaubriant site earned RSB Advanced Products certification in 2020.
According to Chakib Kara, managing director France & Benelux at Tetra Pak, comparative studies show that paper-based carton packages have a lower carbon footprint than alternative options, such as glass, plastic or metal packages.
“Deploying cartons integrating attributed recycled polymers represents a key step in our journey towards the ultimate sustainable food package, one that is fully made of responsibly sourced renewable or recycled materials, fully recyclable and carbon neutral,” he said.