Tetra Pak aims to launch a paper straw that is suitable for its portion-sized carton packages before the end of the year, as part of a broader programme to help address the issue of plastic straw waste.
Straws play an integral functional role on portion packages, but if not properly disposed of, they then become part of the plastics waste problem. The company has been working to encourage consumers to push straws “back in the pack” once empty, so they can be collected along with the rest of the package. Now, work is under way to develop a paper straw that is suitable for use on its portion-size carton packages.
“It sounds simple enough,” concedes Charles Brand, executive vice-president, product management & commercial operations, “but in reality, there are a number of significant challenges to producing a paper straw with the required properties.”
“That said, our development team is confident they can find a solution, and that we’ll have a paper straw alternative ready to launch by the end of the year.”
On average, Tetra Pak packages are about 75% paperboard; paper straws would be another important step towards the company’s long-term ambition of offering a completely renewable portfolio.