By: Casha Doemland
According to Greenmax, “beverage cartons are compositely made of paper and other materials like aluminum foil and polyethylene plastic, all of which are recyclable.”
Granted, paper and aluminum are recyclable, but there’s something fishy about claiming polyethylene is.
If that were true, then wouldn’t Starbucks’ paper cups be recyclable as well, and the whole stink about finding a greener cup would focus solely on the single-use plastic? Yet, Stand Earth released a report that read, “this plastic lining makes the cups impossible to recycle because it clogs most recycled paper mills’ machinery.”
Nonetheless, sustainable options are here. Last August, Elopak, a Norwegian-based company specializing in paper-based packaging for food, launched a new set variation of Pure-Pak in collaboration with Stora Enso’s Natura Life paperboard.
In combination with the newest feedstock, and after four years of using renewable PE, they claim to be the first manufacturer to make 1 billion renewable cartons.
So, what exactly makes their cartons renewable?
For starters, Natura Life by Stora Enso is recyclable, and sometimes even biodegradable and compostable in an industrial facility based on the grade used. Second, it keeps your food fresh and is excellent for liquid products, especially dairy. While most carton manufacturers use a plastic-based polyethylene to coat their paperboard, Pure-Pak utilizes a green variety made from renewable materials such as sugar cane and tall oil.
“Sourced from Nordic forests, the tall oil-based feedstock is a residue from pulp and paper production,” says Elopak in a press release. “This allows Elopak to offer a carton based entirely on wood.”
As for the sugarcane, it is sourced from Brazil and appears to be efficient in converting sunlight to energy, and in the same press release, they go on to say it’s “a sustainable, fast-growing renewable resource. In comparison to fossil-based raw materials, all renewable alternatives are better for the environment, both in terms of resource depletion and carbon footprint.”
Outside of the environmental differences, Pure-Pak is also known for their “first touch” zone, which gives an added grip when pouring, and their easy fold line, to help you squeeze the last drop and dispose of it with ease.
All in all, Elopak is making great strides in the carton industry, and it’s backed by the fact that they’re the first company to make 1 billion renewable cartons.
LA-based and Georgia-bred, Casha Doemland spends her days crafting poetry and freelance writing. Over the last two years, she’s been published in a variety of publications and zines around the world. When she’s not nerding out with words, you can catch her watching a classic film, trekking around the globe or hanging out with a four-pound Pomeranian.
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