Tetra Pak has become the first carton packaging company to launch paper straws in Europe – and has released the intellectual property into the public domain.
The company’s European customers have begun field tests using the paper straws with Tetra Pak’s Tetra Brik Aseptic 200 Base and Tetra Brik Aseptic 200 Base Crystal cartons, small-sized packages targeted mainly at children’s juice and dairy products.
“We are pleased to have developed a paper straw that is fully functional and meets internationally recognised food safety standards. This is an important step in our vision to deliver a package made entirely from plant-based packaging materials, contributing to a low-carbon circular economy,” said Adolfo Orive, president and CEO of Tetra Pak.
Additionally, Tetra Pak has chosen not to patent its improvements to materials and equipment to make this possible, releasing them instead into the public domain.
“For the industry to achieve its common goal of driving towards a low-carbon circular economy, the entire supply base for paper straws must expand and grow quickly.
“We invite all suppliers and customers to use our knowledge and join forces with us to ramp up production as quickly as possible,” said Orive.
The straws are made of FSC-certified paper, and can be recycled with the rest of the carton if pushed all the way inside.
Tetra Pak is also investigating sustainable options such as polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), a biodegradable plant-based polymer, as well as tethered caps and integrated drink-from systems.