Tetra Pak has announced the market-first launches of its tethered cap solutions, some of which are apparently made with responsibly sourced sugarcane, for carton packages in Ireland, the Baltics, Spain, and Germany.

According to Tetra Pak, tethered caps play an important role in preventing litter as the cap will stay attached to the package across its lifecycle. The company claims that the majority of its tethered cap portfolio also offers a reduction in plastic content ranging between 7% and 15% depending on the solution.

The new tethered cap solutions include the commercial production of a new, plant-based C38 Pro tethered cap on Tetra Top 330 and Tetra Top 500 carton packages for the Ireland-based water producer, Borrisoleigh Bottling Ltd (BBL). Production is set to begin in May this year.

Since February 2022, Cido Grupa, a juice company based in the Baltics that exports products to over 20 countries globally, adds that it has been testing the new HeliCap 26 Pro closure on a Tetra Prism Aseptic 1000 Square package.

Meanwhile, in Spain, LY Company Group, which offers carton-packaged water in the country, will apparently start commercial production of the new plant-based DreamCap 26 Pro closure on a Tetra Prism Aseptic 330 Square package. Also in Spain, Lactalis Puleva, part of the global dairy company Lactalis Group, says it has been testing a new, plant-based HeliCap 25 Pro closure on Tetra Brik Aseptic 1000 Slim packages for its Lauki brand since March 2022.

German dairy brand, Weihenstephan, has also announced plans to test the production of the new LightWing 30 closure on a Tetra Brik Aseptic 1000 Edge carton.

Tetra Pak says that the plant-based tethered cap solutions are made from polymers derived from responsibly sourced sugarcane, which reportedly increases the renewable content of the Package and helps to reduce its carbon footprint.

The tethered cap solutions can also help customers to meet the Single Use Plastics (SUP) Directive before the enforcement deadline in 2024.

Julia Luscher, vice president of marketing at Tetra Pak, comments: “We are delighted to be supplying a number of customers with tethered cap solutions, helping them to ‘walk the talk’ towards their sustainability ambitions.

“Understanding our customers’ needs and having collected consumer insights through multiple pieces of research across various markets, our new tethered caps have been designed to enhance convenience.

“For instance, they are easy to open and re-close for subsequent consumption, while featuring carefully sized diameters for smooth pouring and drinking.”

Marco Marchetti, vice president of packaging materials, sales and distribution solutions at Tetra Pak, adds: “Starting with these five new introductions, we are planning to equip approximately 300 packaging lines with tethered caps in Europe by the end of 2022.

“Considering the scale of change required across the value chain, early collaborations like these are putting the food and beverage industry on a fast track to accelerate the transition to a low carbon circular economy.”

The company explains that it has invested heavily in improving the manufacturing experience for customers, with the new automated production lines for tethered caps utilising Artificial Intelligence technology for increased efficiency.

Marchetti concludes: “We are on a journey towards creating the world’s most sustainable food package, a carton that is fully made from responsibly sourced renewable or recycled materials, is fully recyclable and carbon-neutral.

“We are ramping up investment in the development of alternative solutions across our packaging portfolio such as tethered caps and other drink-from systems, to reduce littering while increasing the renewable share of our cartons.

“In total, we are investing around €400 million in the development and roll-out of tethered cap solutions, including a €100 million investment last year in our Châteaubriant plant in France to accelerate the production of tethered closures.

“By working seamlessly across multiple project streams and covering approximately 40 different packages with tethered caps, we expect to sell over 1.5 billion such closures by year end.”

Earlier this year, Tetra Pak worked with Elvir on caps for its Elle & Vire brand carton packaging that include certified recycled polymers. The one-step resealable screwcap is manufactured at Tetra Pak’s Châteaubriant plant in Loire-Atlantique, France.