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Bio-based PE caps developed by two producers

Tetra Pak has launched a recyclable HDPE cap while resin producer Braskem has developed PE caps for carbonated beverages – both are manufactured from renewable sources and recyclable.

Tetra Pak’s bio-based LightCap 30 is a high density polyethylene (HDPE) cap made from sugar cane.

TINE, a leading dairy producer, distributor and exporter, based in Norway, is the first brand in Europe to use these bio-based caps. Its Piano vanilla sauce, TINE iced coffee, iced tea and chocolate milk will be packaged in the Tetra Brik Aseptic Edge with bio-based LightCap 30.

“As one of Norway’s largest users of packaging, it is important that we use our resources optimally and prioritise sustainability. This is a business imperative for us. Tetra Pak’s TBA Edge, which is made from about 75% renewable resources, now comes with bio-based cap, offering us the opportunity to further enhance the environmental profile of our products”, said Björn Malm, Sustainability Manager, at TINE.

The renewable polyethylene used in LightCap 30 starts out as sugar cane. The cane is crushed and the juice fermented and distilled to produce ethanol. Through a process of dehydration, ethanol is converted into ethylene, which is then polymerised to produce the polyethylene used to manufacture the cap.

“The development of the bio-based LightCap 30 is another important step towards our goal of producing a 100% renewable packaging solution. This launch demonstrates our continued commitment to environmental innovation and providing customers, retailers and consumers with the highest level of environmental performance for their packaging,” said Erik Steijger, product manager environmental innovation, Tetra Pak.

Meanwhile, Braskem, a leading thermoplastic resins producer in the US and the world's largest biopolymers producer, has launched polyethylene (PE) caps for carbonated beverages. The product should reach the market in the second half of the year.

The launch complements Braskem's product portfolio for the beverage segment, which already includes polypropylene and polyethylene for injection and compression molding processes for caps with or without liners.

The new PE for carbonated beverage caps makes possible the production of caps with excellent sealing performance and that preserve the characteristics of the beverage, while also being sustainable, since it allows for reductions in packaging weight and is recyclable.

The PE grade further enhances sustainability performance by offering the possibility of manufacturing caps using green polyethylene made from a renewable feedstock: sugarcane ethanol.

"Braskem is constantly seeking new ways to take technology and innovation to its Clients, which helps them offer higher-performance products to the market," said Paulo Sanches, head of the PE Injection Segment at Braskem.


28 May 2013 - Felicity Murray