Elisabeth Skoda talks to firm CEO Thomas Körmendi about the advantages of beverage carton sustainability, improvements and developments, recyclability and recycling charges, the corporate’s web zero targets and future developments.

Total, may you describe what you suppose makes beverage cartons a sustainable different to plastic bottles for drinks?

The 2 largest sustainability points we’re presently going through are international warming, which is linked to CO2 emissions and waste, which may be diminished by recycling. The cartons are totally recyclable and are primarily based on a renewable useful resource – pulp and paper. This has a considerably decrease carbon footprint than another competing packaging system. In comparison with PET, cartons can comprise between 65% and 85% much less CO2 footprint. With the ambition to scale back our CO2 footprint, cartons of every kind play an necessary function.

So far as recycling is anxious, Europe presently has a cardboard recycling fee of 51%, in keeping with statistics, and in some Member States this fee goes as much as 70%. Supplied the best assortment construction is in place, it’s a very sturdy and helpful kind of packaging materials.

Renewability is a powerful level of cartons. We are able to shield meals and/or different merchandise, and we will play a elementary and important function in decreasing meals waste, which is in fact additionally important on the subject of CO2 emissions.

Are there any notable advances in beverage carton expertise to enhance product safety or enhance recyclability that you just want to discuss?

Cartons are already very robust in product safety now. The true query is whether or not we will retain the product safety advantages we’ve got whereas decreasing our CO emissions.2 footprint.

There are alternative ways to do that from a packaging perspective. We now have diminished the variety of layers within the packaging materials by introducing unbleached brown board – unbleached board is a stronger board that requires much less materials Much less materials used means much less CO2 emissions. This has been extensively launched – round 20% of our milk gross sales in Europe have been transformed to brown carton.


We additionally work on the completely different layers and barrier supplies that assist shield the contents of the product. We now have simply launched an aseptic carton with out aluminum foil, the place we’ve got changed the aluminum foil with a polyolefin mix barrier. This reduces CO2 the packaging footprint considerably. To place this into perspective, by introducing a pure, foil-free brown cardboard pack, we will scale back CO2 as much as 50% of the footprint of our personal aseptic packaging. Considering again to the comparability between PET and beverage cartons, the CO financial savings2 emissions turn into much more pronounced.

Might you inform me extra about Elopak’s work to make beverage cartons simply recyclable and enhance recycling charges?

All trade gamers, together with carton producers and packaging materials suppliers, are dedicated to growing recycling charges and enhancing supplies. There’s a very robust understanding, motivation and recognition within the trade and in all associations that we have to do our half, we have to discover methods to facilitate this and make sure that we’ve got sufficient recycling packages in place throughout Europe and presumably exterior Europe.

I perceive that Elopak has been carbon impartial since 2016 – how was this achieved?

We now have initiated a variety of plant investments, together with altering from gas-fired to electrically-fired tools, and a variety of apparatus modifications that lead to CO discount2 footprint. However past that, we use carbon offset packages. In fact, in the long term, offset packages usually are not sufficient, you need to really scale back your carbon footprint.

Our work on this may take us to 2050, when we’ve got dedicated to turning into a web zero firm.

Might you inform me extra about Elopak’s web zero targets?

Elopak is among the first corporations to have its zero targets endorsed by the Science Primarily based Targets Initiative (SBTi). We consider within the significance of this from each a price and enterprise perspective. Each enterprise on this planet might want to obtain this, and we see that our prospects and our prospects’ prospects, the retailers, are additionally doing this. From the beginning, we dedicated to a science-based objective, which implies the worldwide temperature mustn’t rise greater than 1.5 levels. It is a powerful objective, however we will do rather a lot. In scopes 1 and a couple of, we may scale back our personal CO2 emissions by 42%, and in scope 3 a further 25%.

There’s rather a lot that may be performed, and we’re heading in the right direction general. In fact, it’s totally simple to decide to what we must be doing in 2050, when many people will not be round, at the very least not in our present roles. However to get to that quantity in 2050, there are issues that have to occur now, and that is in place. Trying all the way down to web zero from the place we’re proper now, a part of it’s innovation that hasn’t occurred but. However I’m optimistic that as an trade we will interact and drive improvement and innovation.

Seeking to the long run – how do you see the beverage carton trade creating within the years to return?

Curiosity and demand for cardboard as a product and as a cloth is rising in our a part of the world, each within the liquid meals sector and past. We strongly consider that there might be a alternative of plastic as a packaging materials by cartons, pushed by sustainability issues.

As well as, at current, there may be additionally a TCO element, contemplating the value of plastic and resin, which can change over time. However the international push for sustainability and the necessity for retailers and prospects to satisfy their CO2 goal means they might want to discover options with decrease CO2 emissions, and cardboard is an ideal match for that mission. We offer good options on this context, we’re value-based and value-driven on this respect, and we develop and lead the corporate with this in thoughts. I see the cardboard market increasing in lots of instructions, past milk, juice and liquid meals, into different areas the place they’ll change plastics.

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