Tethered caps: Tetra Pak delivers on its 2021 resolutions


The Swedish food packaging giant is investing €100 million in its Châteaubriant plant to setup its tethered cap solution for packaging bricks. This resolution is in anticipation of the European directive on single-use plastics (S.U.P), scheduled to come into force in July 2024.

This major investment in the Châteaubriant will see the unit expand, with the installation of 12 new production lines, as well as the partial replacement of existing lines, which are being adapted for the production of the tethered caps. Thirty new jobs will also be created in the process.

Therefore what appears to be a small detail at first, requires a complete overhaul of production processes – we are talking about reviewing caps for around 40 different types of packaging at group level, with the objective of making a biologically sourced version available. That’s more than 20 billion packages which need to be converted for Europe alone, according to Group Vice President Lars Holmquist.

It is a sizeable challenge, but with many practical advantages: In addition to reducing litter, the tethered caps, which are an integral part of the packaging, will be made with seven to 15% less plastic, with the possibility of using a polymer made from plants, mainly sugarcane, to reduce the carbon footprint of the bricks even further. The group says these solutions have also been developed to “improve the user’s comfort” when it comes to opening, closing and pouring. “By equipping some 40 different types of packaging with the tethered caps, we are expecting to sell more than 1.5 billion of them by the end of the year”, according to Ola Elmqvist, Vice President for Packaging Solutions.

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