In the world of beverage cartons, two of the major players hail from Scandinavia: the first, Tetra Pak, is Swedish; the second is the Norwegian company Elopak. The companies, who engage in a perpetual game of anything-you-do-I-can-do-better, have both put great effort into the development of "green" packaging, introducing redesigned cartons that combine convenience with an improved environmental profile. That round looked to have been won this year by Tetra Pak: in what it called an industry first, Tetra Pak announced in April that all of the packages it produced in Brazil would from that time on make use of biobased low-density polyethylene (LDPE). In October, the company said it would be making the industry's first carton made entirely from plant-based, renewable packaging materials commercially available in early 2015, and in November, that company collected two awards at the World Beverage Innovation Awards ceremony in Nuremberg, Germany for "environmental innovation."
Elopak, however, now claims to have gone one better. The company said that a wide range of Elopak cartons featuring certified renewable polyethylene (PE) will be made commercially available in the coming months, making Elopak the first company to offer beverage cartons with renewable coating to the European market. And in another industry first, Elopak is using second generation renewable PE, made of European-sourced biomass not in competition with food supply.