Aseptic packaging sustainability: Vol. 1 – a comparative benchmark

As COVID-19 pandemic is steadily slowing down and hitting a plateau after two years of unprecedented public health and safety measures, sustainability appears to be once again at the top of the agenda.

According to Euromonitor International, even in the middle of COVID-19 outbreak, one out of three consumers[1] worldwide was still very much concerned with climate change, but, as for now, green activism has never been so popular, with green parties gathering increasing support among voters in many countries.

People, continue the experts from Euromonitor, now desire a new normality, that feels fairer, more sustainable, and mindful than the pre-pandemic one[2].

In our brand new series “Aseptic packaging sustainability”, we want to discuss the advantages of aseptic carton packaging from a sustainability point of view compared with glass and plastic bottles and containers while having a look at what is next for the industry in the upcoming, hopefully-greener future.

Can packaging drive climate action?

Packaging plays a key role in the F&B market, for many reasons. For starters, food safety and food security are top issues: we package food products to protect them from contamination and spoiling of any kind; the longer it is, the better. But we also package food for storing and transportation convenience.

And, because food production is linked to global warming, by preventing food spoilage and allowing for more sustainable consumption behaviors, packaging can actually drive true climate action along the whole supply chain.

Aseptic carton packaging vs. PET and glass bottles: a comparative benchmark

Together with aseptic cartons and reusable glass bottles, PET containers are among the most common packaging solutions used today in the food and beverage industry.

Even though having considerable overlapping similarities in terms of functions, these three different types of packaging become distinct in process and attributes.

Primarily made of paperboard, aseptic cartons are featured with a multilayer structure combining thin layers of plastic and aluminum too, and they are used to pack food products right after UHT and sterilization treatments.

PET bottles, on the other hand, are mainly made of lightweight, handy plastic, which is primarily derived from petroleum hydrocarbons -.

Last but not least, glass containers - and more specifically glass packaging for liquid food products - are predominantly made of natural ingredients such as silica, soda ash and limestone, which are then combined though heat following a self-explanatory and simple formula.

From a comparative analysis point of view, the PROs and CONs of aseptic carton, PET and glass packaging can be carried out as it follows:

  • global warming potential;
  • "net plastic content";
  • packaging efficiency;
  • transport efficiency;
  • supply and management of resources;

In part two of our brand-new series we will move the discussion forward and dive into the advantages of aseptic packaging solutions for F&B market by having a look at the so called “global warming potential” (GWP), that is what is also more commonly known as carbon footprint. To follow us along our journey into aseptic technology, become a member of our LinkedIn community and stay up-to-date on our activities.

We believe packaging can do more. Are you ready to take a step towards a greener future?

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