To boost their sustainability and assist achieve global climate targets, beverage cartons manufacturers have agreed to develop cartons from 100 percent sustainable and recycled material and reduce their plastic usage by 2030.
The commitments are part of the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment’s 2030 plan.
By the end of the decade, the strategy aims to achieve a 70 percent recycling rate and a 90 percent collection rate, as well as improve product design to promote circularity and decarbonize the value chain, all in accordance with the objective of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
“We strongly believe that packaging can and should actually contribute to mitigating the two biggest challenges nowadays in our view, which are climate change but also food safety and health and safety,” Annick Carpentier, director general at the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment said, as quoted by Euractiv.
The sector is already starting to walk the walk, according to Carpentier, and the European Commission has to establish an atmosphere that encourages innovation while also allowing time for it to happen in its early 2022 overhaul of circular economy regulations.
The packaging and packaging waste regulation is one legislation that will be amended in 2022. This should align it with the EU executive’s objective of making all containers on the EU market reusable or recyclable in a cost-effective manner by 2030.
Carpentier noted, however, that the EC is still only tackling half of the problem. She wants to focus on the procurement of materials as well as the recyclability and reusability of final products.
“The sourcing of packaging material has an impact on climate change, but also has an impact overall on the sustainability of the packaging,” she added.
The environmental advocacy organization Zero Waste Europe supports corporate efforts to increase sustainability, but it also demands that the number of raw materials consumed in the production process be reduced.
The industry, Carpentier added, is very concerned about sustainability and biodiversity preservation. All fibers used in beverage cartons have originated from sustainably managed and certified forests since 2015, according to her.