The main raw material for the production of cartons is wood fibre, which is a renewable resource. In Sweden and Finland, where most of the wood fibre for European beverage cartons originates, forests are expanding with growth in forest volume increasing year-on-year as annual growth exceeds cuttings.
The sixth annual Proforest report on the CoC commitment made in 2007 by ACE members, including Tetra Pak, Elopak and SIG Combibloc, shows 88% of wood fibre purchased globally by these companies in 2012 was either FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified fibre or originated from FSC controlled wood. This is compared to 85% in 2011.
Close to target
The latest figure means ACE members are on track to meet their commitment to source 100% wood fibre that is traceable to legal and acceptable sources by 2015.
100% of the fibre already used in the EU already comes from plants which are FSC chain of custody certified. Also, 43 (81%) of the 53 converting plants owned by ACE beverage carton producers worldwide are now FSC chain of custody certified, which is up from 74% in 2011.
Gavin Landeg, environment manager, Tetra Pak UK & Ireland, told FoodProductionDaily, since the introduction of its FSC-labelled liquid food cartons in the UK in 2007, it has been working with suppliers, customers, consumers and NGOs to raise awareness of the importance of ensuring responsible forest management and the value of using renewable materials, like wood.
“Raising awareness among consumers about the importance of using responsibly managed renewable materials plays a role in driving FSC certification and responsible forest management,” he added.
FSC-labeled Tetra Pak
“For example, consumer awareness of the label in the UK and Ireland has doubled from 19% in 2007 to 38% in 2013 (according to GfKNOP data) as the number of FSC-labeled Tetra Pak packages and promotional campaigns has increased. Today 65% of Tetra Pak packages in the UK & Ireland carry the FSC label.”
Richard Hands, CEO, ACE UK said traceability is one of our industry’s most important strategies to combat illegal logging, and is important in avoiding socially and environmentally unacceptable sources of wood.
“With 75% of a beverage carton, on average, being made from this natural renewable material, ACE members have a clear interest in ensuring that forests are responsibly managed,” he said.
“It is also good news only 10 more converting plants need to be certified to meet our commitment of 100% CoC certification of all beverage carton manufacturing plants by 2018.”
Proforest is an independent verifier of natural resource management. Click here to read its report on ACE’s Chain of Custody (CoC) commitment.
Click here to read Tetra Pak’s Global Sustainability Report.