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My Response to Tetra Pak: Recycling Opens the Door to a Circular Economy

Brian Kennell, the CEO of Tetra Pak wrote an article for the Huffington Post. The article boasted the victory of Tetra Pak and their environmentally friendly initiatives. Here was my response:

I’m glad Tetra Pak has a commitment to using responsible resources. I know I use Tetra Pak products every day. A concern I have is that Tetra Pak is so focused on design and production that it loses sight of the products end of life. Tetra Pak’s innovation in a bio-based cap is great but is made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE). HDPE is a plastic that is not biodegradable. Depending on the data, about ½ of Tetra Pak packages are recycled, that figure is lower in the United States than in Europe. What if the cap was made out of polylactic acid instead of HDPE? Still can be made from sugar cane, biodegradable, and able to be recyclable.

This is only one way Tetra Pak could decrease what is put into landfills. Other ways to eliminate waste from packaging include; reduction, reuse, and better design for recycling. Designing the packaging to be recycled as a priority. You could do this by altering the layers of the mother-roll.

The old credo of Tetra Pak from Ruben Rausing that a package should “save more than it costs” this needs to be updated to “save more than is loss”.

Elliott Killian

25 Comments

  1. I didn’t even know what Tetra Pak was. I just googled it. It’s everywhere! Learned something new.

  2. Elliott, you seem like you know what you are talking about. The more credibility you have the more people will be interested in your ideas on packaging and recycling.

    • Paul,

      Hopefully they all get recycled and if not then re-purposed for another item.

      Regards,
      Elliott

    • Lora,

      Not yet. I hope to work with Tetra Pak one day, making improvement on their products.

      Regards,
      Elliott

    • Joseph,

      Thanks for the question. It will hopefully make recycling easier and in the future recycling maybe automatic.

      Regards,
      Elliott

    • Gerda,

      What projects are you working on? You can also contact me on LinkedIn.

      Regards,
      Elliott

    • Nadia,

      Currently I am working on Marketing consulting. Zero Waste consulting will likely be in the future. What are you working on?

      Regards,
      Elliott

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