Packaging & Waste Briefing: Tetra Pak, Nestle, Dow Chemical, Coca-Cola
Tetra Pak, one of the worldâ€™s biggest food packaging firms, says it is developing packaging based on 100 percent renewable materials. It also plans to increase the supply of Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper board used in its products to 100 percent, with an interim target of 50 percent in 2012.
In its biennial sustainability update, Mission Possible, the company reports that the recycling of used cartons has risen by more than 1 billion cartons per year since 2002, and it is now aiming to double the recycling rate for used beverage cartons by the end of the decade.
Tetra Pak has announced meeting its 2010 climate goal, with a 13 percent absolute carbon reduction since 2005. The company has pledged to cap carbon emissions across its value chain at 2010 levels by the end of 2010.
NestlĂ© UK has achieved zero waste status at one of its biggest plants, in York, England, almost four years ahead of the companyâ€™s 2015 target. This has saved nearly ÂŁ120,000 a year by eliminating landfill taxes, reducing the number of dumpster lifts the company uses, and generating revenue through the sale of about 800 tons of cardboard, plastic, metal, pallets and metallized film. The site makes over a billion Kit Kats a year.
The companyâ€™s plants in Girvan, Scotland and Dalston, England became zero waste in 2010. Nestle is aiming for all 14 of its UK and Ireland factories to achieve zero waste by 2015. More information is available in this interim report (pdf).
Dow Chemical has announced a joint venture with Japanese trading and investment company Mitsui & Co to develop sugar cane-based bioplastics for the flexible packaging, hygiene and medical markets, in what the American giant describes as â€śthe worldâ€™s largest biopolymers playâ€ť.
The scope of the venture includes development of an integrated facility for producing biopolymers from sugar cane-derived ethanol, with construction expected to start this quarter.
The venture marks Dowâ€™s largest investment in Brazil. Under a memorandum of understanding, Mitsui will become a 50 percent equity interest partner in Dowâ€™s Brazilian sugar crane growing operation in Santa VitĂłria, Minas Gerais.
The amount of PET plastic bottles collected for recycling across Europe last year rose by more than six percent to 1.45 million tons, according to industry bodies Petcore and EuPR. Coca-Cola Hellenic reports that 79,000 tons of PET bottles from its products were collected in 2010. Last year the company invested about ÂŁ42 million in recovering PET bottles.
A study by the Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse has found widespread inaccuracies in testing for lead and cadmium in packaging samples. The TPCH sent packaging samples to six private analytical laboratories and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control Environmental Chemistry Laboratory.
Four out of the seven reported unacceptable results, defined as varying by more than 25 percent from the average of all laboratoriesâ€™ results, while one laboratory with offices nationwide reported inaccurate results for five out of the eight samples they tested. The good news, TPCH says, is that only one packaging sample out of the 42 analyzed resulted in a false negative, which incorrectly indicated that the sample was in compliance with state laws.
The use of lead and cadmium is restricted in packaging by law in 19 U.S. states.
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