Ad:FACHPACK 2024
Ads:Current issue FRUIT PROCESSINGWorld Of Fruits 2024Our technical book Apple Juice TechnologyFRUIT PROCESSING Online Special: Instability of fruit-based beveragesFRUIT PROCESSING Online Special: Don’t give clogs a chanceOrange Juice ChainOur German magazine FLÜSSIGES OBST

The new caps, introduced by BBL in Ireland, Cido Grupa in the Baltics, LY Company Group and Lactalis Puleva in Spain and Weihenstephan in Germany, have been designed to prevent litter and accelerate transition to renewable materials.

Joining forces with leading beverage producers, Tetra Pak is launching tethered caps on carton packages. Marking a significant milestone in the company’s long-term work on design for recycling, five new tethered cap solutions are currently being introduced across Ireland, the Baltics , Spain and Germany in different product categories – a market first for these geographies. As part of a wider programme, this development paves the way for Europe-based customers to stay ahead of schedule and meet the Single Use Plastics (SUP) Directive coming into force by 2024.

Tetra Pak partners with leading beverage brands to launch the world’s first tethered caps on carton packages
Julia Luscher (Photo: Tetra Pak)

Julia Luscher, Vice President Marketing, Tetra Pak, comments: “We are delighted to be supplying a number of customers with tethered cap solutions, helping them to ‘walk the talk’ towards their sustainability ambitions. Understanding our customers’ needs and having collected consumer insights through multiple pieces of research across various markets, our new tethered caps have been designed to enhance convenience. For instance, they are easy to open and re-close for subsequent consumption, while featuring carefully sized diameters for smooth pouring and drinking.”

Tethered caps play an important role in preventing litter, as the cap will stay attached to the package. They could also help reduce the carbon footprint of the carton when they are chosen by food manufacturers as plant-based options, made from polymers derived from responsibly sourced sugarcane, thereby increasing the renewable content of the package. Additionally, a majority of Tetra Pak’s tethered cap portfolio features a reduced amount of plastic. Depending on the various solutions, the company achieved a plastic content reduction ranging between 7 % and 15 %.

Marco Marchetti, Vice President Packaging Materials, Sales and Distribution Solutions, Tetra Pak, adds: “Starting with these five new introductions, we are planning to equip approximately 300 packaging lines with tethered caps in Europe by the end of 2022. Considering the scale of change required across the value chain, early collaborations like these are putting the food and beverage industry on a fast track to accelerate the transition to a low carbon circular economy.”

In May, Borrisoleigh Bottling Ltd (BBL) is set to start commercial production of the new plant-based C38 Pro tethered cap on Tetra Top® 330 and Tetra Top® 500 carton packages. Based in Ireland, BBL is an experienced and awarded water producer, who’s seeking ‘to lead the industry towards a more responsible and sustainable future’.

  • The new HeliCap 26 Pro closure – on a Tetra Prisma® Aseptic 1000 Square package – is being tested since February 2022 in the Baltics with Cido Grupa, who is leading the juice segment in that region since many years and exporting its products to over 20 countries across the globe.
  • In Spain, LY Company Group – that is driving the growth of carton-packaged water in the country, with the mission of ‘reaching a turning point in which both society and companies are aware of the importance of choosing sustainable packaging for the conservation of the planet’ – will soon start commercial production of the new plant-based DreamCap™ 26 Pro closure on a Tetra Prisma® Aseptic 330 Square package.
  • In the same country, Lactalis Puleva – part of the Lactalis Group, a world leading dairy company – has chosen to test the new HeliCap 23 Pro closure. The cap, in its plant-based option, has been applied to Tetra Brik® Aseptic 1000 Slim packages for the brand Lauki, on shelf since March this year.
  • Weihenstephan, one of the oldest and most popular German dairy brands, will soon test the production of the new LightWing 30 closure, on a Tetra Brik® Aseptic 1000 Edge carton.

The company has also heavily invested towards an improved manufacturing experience for customers. Tetra Pak’s new high quality, automated production lines for tethered caps utilise Artificial Intelligence technology for increased efficiency.

Tetra Pak partners with leading beverage brands to launch the world’s first tethered caps on carton packages
Marco Marchetti (Foto: Tetra Pak)

Marchetti concludes: “We are on a journey towards creating the world’s most sustainable food package, a carton that is fully made from responsibly sourced renewable or recycled materials, is fully recyclable and carbon-neutral. We are ramping up investment in the development of alternative solutions across our packaging portfolio such as tethered caps and other drink-from systems, to reduce littering while increasing the renewable share of our cartons.”

“In total, we are investing around EUR 400 million in the development and roll-out of tethered cap solutions, including a EUR 100 million investment last year in our Châteaubriant plant in France to accelerate the production of tethered closures. By working seamlessly across multiple project streams and covering approximately 40 different packages with tethered caps, we expect to sell over 1.5 billion such closures by year end.”

Tetra Pak, in partnership with Elvir, a subsidiary of Savencia Fromage & Dairy – a world leading milk processor – has become the first carton packaging player in the food and beverage industry to launch a cap using certified recycled polymers.

This move marks a key step in both companies’ progress towards circularity. By helping to find an economically sound use for plastic waste and responsibly sourcing raw materials, Tetra Pak and Elvir continue to minimise their dependency on virgin, fossil-based resources.

Elle & Vire chose the HeliCap 23 cap solution to complement its cream products, which are distributed in Tetra Brik® Aseptic 1 l Slim carton packages. This one-step resealable screwcap is manufactured at Tetra Pak’s Châteaubriant plant in Loire-Atlantique, France – a site that has been awarded the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) Advanced Products certification and boosted by a EUR 100 million investment to accelerate the transition to the production of tethered caps. The HeliCap 23 cap offers consumers ease of opening and features a clearly visible tamper evidence ring, providing reassurance that the product hasn’t been opened before.

The new caps using attributed recycled polymers are manufactured under the RSB chain of custody attribution method. This means that the plastics are made of a mix of recycled and non-recycled materials, with the corresponding mass of recycled materials tracked throughout the Tetra Pak supply chain. This is verified by a third-party auditor according to the RSB Chain of Custody Procedure, which forms part of the RSB Advanced Products certification.

Shou Quan Zhai (SQZ), founded in 1760 and one of the oldest food companies in China, is expanding into the beverage market with a new line of ready-to-drink products. The ginger tea and plum juice drinks are the first non-dairy beverages in China available in lightweight flexible packages from Ecolean.

The drinks will be available in the 200 ml Ecolean® Air Aseptic packages on February 20, on SQZ’s online store, e-commerce channels and at retail locations across China. The products are part of a larger traditional Chinese beverage line that will include more products in the future. SQZ is developing, manufacturing and selling herbal beverages to create a healthy lifestyle and is a bestseller of ginger tea products in China.

According to SQZ, the company is engaged in environmental issues and has a long-term view of its work in the sustainability field. The company is committed to keep refining its technology to provide the best experience for the consumers as well as for the environment. SQZ chose Ecolean for its unique package characteristics and low impact on the environment. Ecolean packages are lightweight, almost half in weight compared to many traditional packaging formats, and contain up to 35 % chalk. Using fewer raw materials from the start saves energy during production, transport and waste handling. The packages can also be completely flattened, minimizing food waste and using less space in the waste bin.

In addition, the packages can be used in the microwave — a main benefit to SQZ since ginger tea is typically served warm. The packages are also easy to open and pour and stand upright.

“With a 259-year history, SQZ proudly respects the environment for generations now and in the future,” said Lin Lei, Director, Public Relations and Government Affairs for SQZ. “Ecolean’s advanced packaging technology from Sweden has a minimum impact on the environment, is easy to recognize on the store shelf and is convenient for consumers to use.”

Just as Ecolean is committed to producing lighter, flexible packaging, its filling equipment is also light and compact using minimal resources. Ready-to-fill packages are sterilized using electron beam treatment, hermetically sealed and distributed on reels from Ecolean plants, bringing a considerable part of the complex sterilization process from the liquid food producer back to Ecolean. SQZ chose the Ecolean aseptic filling machine EL4+ for its operations. As for all Ecolean filling machines, it follows the philosophy of keeping it simple, providing a reliable, economical and lean operation. It is easily operated and maintained by SQZ’s personnel.

“The new ready-to-drink beverages from SQZ represent the first non-dairy beverages in Ecolean packages in the Chinese market,” said Johnny Sajland, Regional Director, Asia North and Oceania, Ecolean. “We are excited to work with SQZ to bring new innovation and products to the more than 1.4 billion population in China, both now and in the future.”