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PAC: Branded Package (sold in Canada) - Gold

Grand Pré Cream


The primary material used to make Tetra Pak cartons is paper, which comes from wood, a renewable resource. Paper used to manufacture Tetra Pak cartons is sourced from forests that are managed in a sustainable manner, where more new wood grows each year than is harvested, thanks to replanting programs that have been in effect for decades. Aseptic packages, particularly for dairy products, have a relatively low carbon footprint, largely because the product does not have to be refrigerated during storage or transport. The 500 ml tetra prisma aseptic carton allows consumers to stock up on cream and never run out as additional quantities to those kept in the refrigerator can be safely stored in the cupboard for up to six months. Retailers now have a new option in presenting cream to shoppers: these products can now be displayed next to coffee products, for instance, on the dry shelf, instead of only in the cooler. This makes more room for other products that require refrigeration, and opens new and innovative marketing opportunities.

Cost Effectiveness

The cost of the package: approximately 5.4% the total shelf price of the product.


In 1989, on the occasion of its 50th anniversary, the Institute of Food Technologists (an international association of over 30,000 food scientists, educators, and industry officials) decided to publish a list of what it considered to be the top ten food science innovations that were introduced since 1939. Number one on the list was the aseptic processing and packaging of liquid foods, thanks to its ability to provide outstanding safety and convenience to consumers, and outstanding nutrition and flavour protection of the food products inside. Cream in Tetra Prisma cartons is roughly 96% product, and 4% package (an egg, by contrast, is 7% package, and 93% contents). Cream in aseptic cartons virtually eliminates out-of-code wastes because they can keep cream fresh for up to six months without refrigeration.


Tetra Prisma® Aseptic packaging material is made from paper (75%), polyethylene (20%) and aluminum (5%). Paper comes from wood, which is a renewable resource, and something that sets carton packaging apart from other beverage and liquid food packages. The paper used to manufacture Tetra Pak cartons originates in forests that are managed in a sustainable manner, where more new wood grows each year than is cut down thanks to extensive replanting policies that have been in effect for decades.

Clean Production

Tetra Pak Aseptic Cartons are designed and manufactured in factories having environmental management systems in place certified under the ISO 14001 international standard.

Effective Recovery

As for post-consumer volume, both the Tetra Pak and gable top cartons have similar landfill densities (approximately 500 pounds per cubic yard), while the PET containers have a landfill density of 355 pounds per cubic yard. The lower the landfill density, the more room a material occupies in a landfill. This means a given weight of PET bottles occupies more landfill volume than equal weights of Tetra Brik or paperboard gable-top containers. As for recovery infrastructure, Tetra Pak cartons containing fruit-based and other beverages are collected in deposit-return programs in BC, AB, SK, NB, NS, and NFLD/LB. Milk products, however, are exempt from deposit. Some of these provinces (e.g., BC) have adjusted their programs to permit residents to return Tetra Pak cartons to recycling depots for recycling but with no refund, because no deposit was paid. The local dairy industry, in these instances, is covering the cost of handling and shipping the recovered containers. Tetra Pak cartons are collected in curbside programs in the remaining four provinces. Nationally, over 80 per cent of Canadians have access to programs that collect Tetra Pak cartons for recycling.

Community Benefit

In 1996, the aseptic packaging industry was given the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development, presented to the then-President of Tetra Pak USA by Vice-president Al Gore. At the ceremony, Al Gore recognized the aseptic package for its “earth-smart profile” and commended the aseptic packaging industry for demonstrating "extended responsibility through a product's life cycle and an outstanding contribution to a sustainable future." Cream in aseptic cartons virtually eliminates out-of-code wastes because they can keep cream fresh for up to six months without refrigeration. This is significant to society in two important ways. First, it reduces cost, because manufacturers and distributors do not need to increase price to cover code related product losses. Second, it reduces cream’s environmental footprint: it takes many more resources to produce cream than it does the aseptic package it comes in. In this sense, the package “saves more than it costs” to quote Dr. Ruben Rausing, who founded Tetra Pak in 1952. Tetra Pak over the years has been actively supporting school milk feeding programs with its aseptic cartons in countries all over the world. Each and every school day, Tetra Pak is partly responsible, together with its customers and local governments, in providing affordable milk to over 40 million school children, particularly in developing countries. Tetra Pak's Food for Development activities act as development catalysts: Initiating, developing and supporting projects in developing countries that aim to fight poverty and improve nutrition. The United Nations recognised Tetra Pak for this work with the 2006 World Business Award. Tetra Pak, both locally and internationally, has been a major sponsor of the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) for the last three years. The object of this sponsorship is to reduce osteoporosis in people in Canada and worldwide through effective nutrition (ie., calcium from milk and milk based products) and public education. For further details or a copy of the Environmental and Social Report, ‘Sustainable by Nature’, please visit

Material Health

Tetra Pak packages comply with the essential requirements laid out in the European Union Directive 94/62/EC on Packaging and Packaging Waste. They fulfill the requirements of prevention by source reduction, content of heavy metals and other dangerous substances, material recycling and energy recovery as set out in the related CEN standard and reports (CEN 13427-13432). Aseptic cartons, according to emission tests conducted years ago in Europe, can be safely incinerated for electrical production (contain roughly the same BTU value as one tonne of oil).

Resource & Energy Optimization

Over the years, paperboard used to manufacture aseptic cartons has been reduced by 17%, and the aluminum layer has been reduced by 30% to 6.5 microns thickness (10 times thinner than a human hair). Three years ago, the innermost layer of LDPE in all Tetra Pak cartons was reduced by 17%. The cartons achieve excellent cube utilization, both in transport and shelf display in stores, because of their rectangular, modular shape. Tetra Prisma cartons, like other Tetra Pak containers, are shipped flat on rolls. From the packaging plant to the customer plant, it’s possible to ship up to one million empty Tetra Pak cartons on two standard semi-trailers. It would take up to 56 semi-trailers by contrast to ship one million preformed glass, plastic or metal containers from the packaging factory to the customer filling plant.All of the electricity the Denton factory uses is carbon neutral through the purchase of REC’s (“Green-e certified credits” –renewable energy entering the grid; 50% wind energy, 50% biomass). The facility also contains many state-of-the-art energy conservation features, designed to save costs and reduce its carbon footprint. Energy use was reduced by 27% between 2002 and 2005. Results from the Franklin LCI study showed the Tetra Pak and paperboard gable-top containers consume a lower percentage of fossil fuels, and a higher percentage of wood fuel than PET bottles (wood residues are used to create production steam at paper mills). If one million Tetra Pak 1L Aseptic containers were used instead of one million PET bottles to package half-and-half cream, the cradle-to-grave energy savings would be 4.2 billion Btu, thanks largely to the fact cream in aseptic packaging does not require energy intensive refrigeration. As for greenhouse gas emissions, if one million Tetra Brik Aseptic containers were used instead of the same number of PET bottles, this would save 29,500 kg of C02 equivalents, equal to emissions caused by the amount of electricity consumed by 33 average homes in one year. In LCI studies, energy derived from the combustion of wood is considered carbon neutral. This is because trees take up carbon dioxide as they grow, and release it when the wood is burned. For this reason, the life cycle of wood used for fuel represents no net increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Categories: PAC Award Winner Food and Beverage Composite