This post is in partnership with Tetra Pak. We received compensation, but all opinions expressed are our own. Thank you for supporting brands that keep Compston Kitchen going!
Stephen and I recently had the opportunity to dive into the world of Tetra Pak and learn more about their products and mission to develop safe, sustainable products for people all over the globe. While we've long been familiar with the Tetra Pak label seen on many of our favorite products, we had no idea the extent of the work and mission behind the brand! We are excited to share with you some of our takeaways from our time diving into the world of Tetra Pak.
Products with a Purpose
Question. When it comes to recycling and sustainability, are you a newbie or seasoned pro? Stephen and I felt like we were pretty knowledgeable about both but, frankly, we learned so much! Here's a cool fact for you. In most places, pizza boxes CAN be recycled - grease and all! Minds BLOWN. But don't worry, the fun didn't stop there.
We learned of Tetra Pak's promise which "Protects What's Good". That is, a vision to make food safe and available, everywhere. They have implemented innovative technology that produces safe products with the planet in mind. For those unfamiliar, Tetra Pak is the premier leader in shelf-stable food and drink cartons. In fact, they produce over 10.7 billion packages annually! Flip over most juice boxes, non-perishable milks and boxed soups, and you'll find their logo. With a paper-like exterior, we assumed they were your average recyclable products, but soon learned that's just the tip of the iceberg!
A Conscious Design
Sustainability is at the core of what Tetra Pak does. Their goal is to produce the world's most responsibly-sourced, fully-recyclable and carbon-neutral products made from renewable or recyclable materials. Say that 5 times fast! All base materials come from responsibly sourced origins - and they have 3rd party traceability to prove it! Carton packages are formed from several layers of materials specifically selected for their strength, protective qualities, and sustainability. In other words, a lot of thought goes into their packaging.
What struck us the most however, was the idea of material longevity versus biodegradability. If you think about it, single use, biodegradable products have a relatively short lifespan. They are produced, used, and eventually break down over time. Tetra Pak's aim is to produce products that can be continuously recycled and repurposed into more goods. This helps neutralize carbon emissions and keep products in use longer! That is something we can definitely get on board with.
Speaking of "boards", over 70% of Tetra Pak(R) carton is made from paperboard. Paperboard is a sturdy, fibrous material that can be recycled several times. Next there's a thin layer of aluminum followed by special polymers (plastic). Cartons that are recycled can be turned into new products like building materials, writing paper and tissues. They aim to enhance recycling by design, focusing on both improving recyclability of the package and building integrated systems to support collection, sorting and recycling to keep materials in use. They are continuously working to improve their products and footprint.
Are you relying on more pantry products these days? We definitely are! Tetra Pak developed innovative aseptic packaging that produces shelf-stable food and beverages without the need for any preservatives. We're not kidding. No preservatives whatsoever! As parents, dietitians, and consumers ourselves, this is a big deal. Aseptic packages help the product inside retain their taste and nutrition and ensure that food and packaging materials are free of harmful bacteria when food is packaged. Aseptic technology offers additional benefits including:
- Zero refrigeration needed until opened and a 6 month+ shelf life
- Convenient options for home and on-the-go
- A reduction in food waste during production
- Sustainable packaging
This means, everyday products like milk, juice, fruit, vegetables, soup, coffee, nutritional shakes, -even pet food- can sit unopened for months at a time without being used. Now, more than ever, we're shopping less frequently and relying on long lasting food products to keep our family fed. In fact, we would say our need for shelf-stable products has increased for this very reason. To know that we're still getting the same, high-quality, nutritious products without any compromise is a complete win-win.
Reducing Food Waste
We can't talk shelf-stability without mentioning benefits towards combating food waste. Reducing food waste in our country is incredibly important to us. Currently, over 30% of the food produced around the world goes to waste all while more than 38 million Americans struggle with hunger (actual estimate may be closer to 42% in light of the pandemic). Shelf-stable food products offer a unique advantage over perishable items in that they don't have as limited a timeline for consumption. Therefore, you can grab an unopened carton of milk and use it that week - or months down the line! Opting for more non-perishable items in place of fresh - without compromising nutrition or quality- has the potential to slow our daily contribution of food waste.
It's safe to say that while Tetra Pak products have already been staples in our kitchen, we will definitely be searching them out more often. We want to ensure that as long as we're still buying food to nourish our family, we're also making smart choices for our planet and future generations as well.