Tetra Pak invests in Dong Tien factory to promote recycling of used cartons

February 21, 2022 | 17:20
Tetra Pak, the Swedish food processing and packaging solutions company, and Dong Tien Packaging and Paper Co., Ltd. have announced a co-investment of €3.5 million ($3.97 million) to upgrade and expand the recycling capacity of used beverage cartons in Vietnam.
Tetra Pak invests in Dong Tien factory to promote recycling of used cartons

Supporting the local carton recycling capacity is part of Tetra Pak’s roadmap towards a low-carbon, circular economy worldwide

Tetra Pak will invest €1.2 million ($1.36 million) in the installation of a modern production line at Dong Tien's recycling factory that separates paper from used cartons in line with European technology standards, expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year.

This is a very significant investment, as it is the first time a foreign packaging solutions company has invested in promoting the capacity of Vietnam’s nascent recycling industry.

“Supporting the development of local carton recycling capacity is part of Tetra Pak’s roadmap towards a low-carbon, circular economy worldwide," said Eliseo Barcas, managing director of Tetra Pak Vietnam. “The initiative also demonstrates our strong commitment to supporting food and beverage manufacturers in fulfilling their responsibility for collecting used cartons.”

The modern technology line for separating paper from milk cartons is expected to approximately double the factory's capacity to reach 17,000 tons per year. The new line also enables the production of premium recycled pulp that can be used to make products of high commercial value, such as napkins, toilet paper, and office paper, thereby helping to raise the commercial value of used cartons and income for collectors.

With higher-quality recycled pulp at hand, Dong Tien will invest €2.3 million ($2.6 million) in facilities and production lines for kraft paper, which is widely favoured worldwide.

“We aim at modernising the paper recycling line to create world-class recycled paper products, contributing to improving the industry’s overall recycling capacity and creating higher value for collectors. We expect that once the production line is at full capacity, it will encourage the habit of collecting used cartons among local people and collectors, thereby motivating the whole society to generate an abundant supply of used cartons, which will sustainably aid our business," said Hoang Trung Son, general director of Dong Tien Packaging and Paper Co., Ltd.

The food and beverage market's strong growth and consumers' growing awareness of waste sorting and recycling is expected to drive demand for the recycling of used beverage cartons. However, recycling in Vietnam faces an inadequate collection infrastructure, as well as low quality of output materials due to outdated technology, leading to the low commercial value of recycled products.

In addition, as extended producer responsibility regulations related to product waste, including used packages, has been put into practice since January 1, developing an end-to-end recycling eco-system is of great significance in assisting food and beverage manufacturers in meeting government regulations.

Tetra Pak invests in Dong Tien factory to promote recycling of used cartons
Cartons are recycled into useful products, such as industrial paper, notebooks, roofing sheets, and bio-roof panels

Tran Quang Trung, president of the Vietnam Dairy Association said, “The government has recently introduced new environmental regulations placing responsibilities on manufacturers for reclaiming and recycling their sold packages to protect the environment and head towards building a circular economy. This regulation will certainly bring many challenges to dairy manufacturers as it is involved with sorting, collection, and recycling infrastructure, which is still very poor in Vietnam. Therefore, we greatly appreciate a passionate and experienced partner like Tetra Pak improving recycling infrastructure and sharing the responsibility of building a sustainable environment. The promotion of recycling will also enable manufacturers to build products that are considered environmentally friendly in the eyes of partners and consumers, thereby increasing their competitive edge in the market.”

Dong Tien is considered the first and only company in Vietnam to have an infrastructure in place to fully recycle cartons. With its enthusiasm, Dong Tien has gradually realised the goal of creating a sustainable recycled paper market.

Dong Tien and Tetra Pak have cooperated for more than 10 years to achieve the common goal of developing a carton recycling eco-system for Tetra Pak's customers in Vietnam, contributing to the expansion of used carton collection activities and promoting the domestic recycled paper industry.

Aiming at a low-carbon circular economy, Tetra Pak strives to use renewable materials and reduce emissions throughout its value chain. The company's ultimate goal is to increase the rate of renewable materials up to 100 per cent.

To collect and recycle cartons on a large and widespread scale, Tetra Pak is cooperating with major retailers such as Mega Market to expand carton drop-off stations in big cities. Apart from the 63 public drop-off stations that Tetra Pak and its partners have established in Vietnam, the company also cooperated to add cartons to the collection list of the VECA smartphone app.

In addition, Tetra Pak together with leading companies in the consumer goods, packaging solution, retail, and import industries founded the Vietnam Packaging Recycling Alliance (PRO Vietnam) under the common goal of recycling all packages by PRO members by 2030.

By Tetra Pak

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