Tetra Brik is the trading name of a cardboard packaging produced by the Swedish company Tetra Pak.
It is a mixed packaging composed by six layers which prevent the food from being in contact with the exterior, to ensure its properties are kept intact.
These six layers are made by the following materials:
- Paper: It comes from industrial forests managed under the concept of sustainable development. The packaging is made by 75% of paper, guaranteeing its stability and resistance.
- Aluminium: It prevents the entrance of oxygen, light and the loss of aroma, and it is also a barrier against food deterioration.
- Polyethylene: It prevents the food being in contact with aluminium. It offers adhesiveness and guarantees food protection.
These layers are arranged as follow:
- Firs layer: – Polyethylene: It protects the packaging from external humidity.
- Second layer – Paper: It gives resistance and stability.
- Third layer – Polyethylene: It offers adhesiveness fixing the paper and Aluminium layers.
- Fourth layer – Aluminium: It avoids the entrance of oxygen, light and loss of aromas.
- Fifth layer – Polyethylene: It prevents the food from being in contact with aluminium
- Sixth layer – Polyethylene: It completely guarantees the food protection.
All materials which compose this type of packaging are 100% recyclable separately.
In Argentina, the usuar recycling Tetra Brik packaging consists on grinding it and submitting it to a temperature of 170° C and a pressure of 6kg, method by which agglomerated plaques, commonly called T-plak, are formed. Furniture and other products can be built from these plaques.
Recently, some companies also started to do Tetra Brik reclycling through the separation of cardboard, the plastic and the aluminium once the Tetra Brik packaging was rejected, reclycling each material separately.
To make the recycling of this material possible it is very important to separate tetra-brik in clean and dry conditions. The ideal way to do this is by opening the upper part of the packaging, in order to clean and dry its interior. As a result the rest of the recyclable elements are not contaminated and they do not give off any odour.
Then, it is advisable is to squash it so that it takes up less space.
We share a video where a tetrapack recycling process in Spain is shown.
In June the Company Tetra Pak launched the website Ruta del Reciclado in order to contribute in the packaging harvest circuit.
In this website, users can load their addresses and find in a similar map to “Google Maps” the nearest reclycling center.
Special thanks to Tetra Pak company for giving us information about this residue.