Packaging's Effect on the Green Movement

Sept. 25, 2008
Part of our Green Cover Story series

“Going green involves more than recyclability and reuse,” said Ed Klein, vice president of environmental affairs, Tetra Pak Inc. (, Vernon Hills, Ill. He points out eco-friendly materials must be coupled with package design to reduce weight, damage and transportation costs.

“To ensure effective environmental benefits, the energy expenditure to produce and use the materials for packaging makes going green a cradle-to-cradle process.” In 2007, Tetra Pak recycled more than 22 billion cartons worldwide. Its goal is reduce CO2 emissions by 10 percent by 2010. In 2007 its CO2 emissions were 7 percent lower than in 2005, nine sites used Green Power/Renewable Energy Certificates.

Even though its production increased by 29 percent over the same period, Tetra Pak used the same amount of energy in packaging material production as in 2002. Saving the trees is another focus.  The ultimate goal is to have all paper in its packaging certified to the highest standard – currently FSC. In fact, 100 percent of its sources have been audited and found to be acceptable. The certified chain of custody (from tree stand to paperboard raw material) covers 75 percent of its paperboard and 46 percent of its forest sources are FSC or PEFC certified for Sustainable Forest Management.