Straws play an integral functional role on portion packages, but if not disposed of properly, they then become part of the plastics waste problem. Tetra Pak 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.
The company aims to launch the paper straw that is suitable for its portion-sized carton packages before the end of the year.
‘It sounds simple enough,’ conceded Charles Brand, executive vice president, product management and 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.