Environmental activities in Arabia Area

Environment now forms part of Tetra Pak’s strategy 2020. Our role is to lead implementation of this strategy and support the integration throughout Tetra Pak. Although Arabia Area is the biggest market in the Cluster Greater Middle East and Africa it has a few paper mills and recyclers in the region. However, with the announcement of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 things are changing rapidly. It is an ambitious yet achievable blueprint, which expresses the kingdom’s long-term goals and expectations and reflects the country’s strengths and capabilities.

Recycling in Saudi Arabia

One of Tera Pak’s goals is to achieve 40% global recycling rate by 2020. The aim is to fully recycle Used Beverage Cartons with all its raw material such as paper board, polymer and aluminium instead of letting them end up in a landfill. Tetra Pak Arabia Area is working with various partners such as paper mills, waste management companies and recyclers to drive the recycling of used beverage cartons in the Arabia Area.

What happens to used beverage cartons in Arabia Area?

Used Beverage Cartons (UBC) mostly end up in landfills, whereas a small percentage is collected with various types of cartons and mixed paper, which go to paper mills to be recycled into paper products. Some percentage of UBC is collected and recycled in Saudi Arabia with our current recycler, Al Shaheen. Al Shaheen is a recycling company based in Jeddah, who is well-versed in the recycling of all types of plastics (PET, HD, PB, XLP) and used beverage cartons

Al Shaheen collects production waste from our customers, leading dairy and juice manufacturers, and post consumer beverage cartons from schools, universities, hospitals, residential compounds and from Saudia Airlines and recycles both the paper and Poly-Aluminum (all together) parts into wood plastic composite (WPC). WPC applications can replace natural wood, plastic and low-strength metal applications, some examples are decking, pallets, furniture, construction material, garbage bins. WPC is recyclable, moist and rot proof and anti-slip material.

In 2015, we facilitated to recycle over 1,500 tonnes of used beverage cartons in Saudi Arabia. This would increase markedly if we were to overcome challenges such as low perceived value of used beverage cartons and lack of acceptance of WPC.

Recycling activities

We are also working with a leading paper mill in Dubai to run trials to evaluate the value of UBCs as part of the mixed stream. Similar exercises in Saudi Arabia are being undertaken with other paper mills in Dammam, Jeddah and Riyadh. We are also coordinating with all our customers in the U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia to ensure that their factory waste reaches waste recyclers.

Local activities & events

In order to promote beverage carton recycling and increasing public awareness, together with our customers and local NGOs, Tetra Pak Arabia Area is creating stakeholders engagement by organizing events such as recycling seminars and by showcasing the best practices at industry platforms such as Gulfood trade exhibition in Dubai. We are also engaging with customers, dairy and juice producers, and collaboratively pursuing environmental excellence in managing environmental challenges such as such as factory waste. 

Sustainable sourcing (FSC™)

Globally we aim to offer packages based 100% on renewable materials and secure 100% FSC™-certified paperboard. The number of Tetra Pak cartons in Arabia Area bearing the FSC logo has increased steadily each year to achieve a milestone of 1 billion FSC-labelled packs in 2016.
Today, more and more customers in Arabia Area are showing interest in using FSC™ labelling on their packages for two main reasons: Support sustainable sourcing and increase consumer awareness towards saving natural resources. We aim to promote FSC™ deployment among all our customers and hope that in the near future, all of our customers will be using FSC™-certified packaging material.