Tetra Pak and Braskem sign agreement to pilot green plastic in carton packaging
Tetra Pak to undertake limited trials with renewable polyethylene from Braskem in the production of plastic closures.
Tetra Pak has reached agreement with the largest Brazilian petrochemical company, Braskem SA, to purchase limited volumes of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) derived entirely from a renewable feedstock. The agreement represents the first move toward using green polyethylene in the carton packaging industry.
Braskem expects the world’s first commercial-scale green polyethylene plant, located in the south of Brazil, to come on stream late next year and is targeting first deliveries to Tetra Pak early in 2011. The new facility will use ethanol derived from sugar cane to produce ethylene, which will then be converted into polyethylene, the world’s most commonly used plastic. It is estimated that the process will result in an overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions when compared with the traditional process for manufacturing polyethylene.
Under the terms of today’s agreement, Braskem will begin supplying Tetra Pak with 5 Ktons per year of green HDPE from 2011, for use in the production of plastic caps and closures. The volume represents just over 5% of the company's total HDPE demand, and is slightly less than 1% of its total plastics purchases.
“While this pilot project is a small first step into green polyethylene, it marks another milestone in our sustainability journey … and underscores our commitment to finding new ways to use renewable materials in our carton packaging,” said Tetra Pak President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Jönsson.
“We are very pleased to partner with Tetra Pak to supply a viable renewable alternative to traditional polyethylene. This is another step our longstanding partnership as a Tetra Pak global supplier and demonstrates both companies' commitment to sustainable development,” said Braskem CEO Bernardo Gradin.
As the world’s leading supplier of wood fibre based carton packaging, the concept of renewable feedstock is well established within Tetra Pak and the company is active in promoting the use of responsibly managed resources. Tetra Pak is actively involved with the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) and is supporting the development of a sustainability certification standard to guide the production of renewable raw materials to supply the green plastics chain.
Tetra Pak is also a partner in the WWF Climate Savers Programme and is on track to meet its commitment to reduce global carbon emissions by 10% in absolute terms between 2005 and 2010.
In 2002 Braskem issued a public commitment related to its contribution to sustainable development, and it was the first Brazilian company to endorse the UNEP International Declaration on Cleaner Production. Since 2005 it has been listed on the Brazilian Stock Exchange Sustainability Index (ISE Bovespa). All its industrial plants are ISO 14001 certified. This year, in support of the climate change engagement movement, Braskem signed the Copenhagen Communiqué on Climate Change.
Braskem is the leader in thermoplastic resins in Latin America and the third largest producer in the Americas. With 18 plants located throughout Brazil, the company produces more than 11 million tons of thermoplastic resins and other petrochemical products. More information about Braskem is available at http://www.braskem.com
For more information please contact:
Linda Bernier, Director Corporate PR Tetra Pak, +39 348 145 4229
Katie Moore, GolinHarris for Tetra Pak, + 44 (0) 207 067 047
Nelson Letaif, Corporate Communication Manager Braskem, + 55 11 3576-9534
Fernanda Zanichelli, CL-A for Braskem, + 55 11 3082-3977 Ext. 27