Tetra Pak ‘green’ plastic trial

Tetra Pak has agreed to carry out a limited trial to source green plastic from Brazil for use in its carton packaging.

The company 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, says Tetra Pak.

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 the agreement, Braskem will begin supplying Tetra Pak with 5ktons per year of green HDPE from 2011, for use in the production of plastic caps and closures.

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