Fold with it: Oasis and Tetra Pak unveils sustainable water carton packaging in UAE

By Guan Yu Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

The carton packaging is mainly made from paperboard, a renewable material made from wood ©Oasis Instagram
The carton packaging is mainly made from paperboard, a renewable material made from wood ©Oasis Instagram

Related tags: Uae, Tetra pak, Middle east, Sustainable packaging

UAE’s food and beverage manufacturer National Food Products Company (NFPC) has launched its Oasis brand of drinking water in sustainable Tetra Pak carton packaging, the first water brand in the region to do so.

The water is available in 330mL carton packaging, and will be sold at all major supermarkets from mid-March 2020, at a retail price of 1.5 AED (USD 0.41).

The launch was announced at the recent Gulfood exhibition in Dubai.

Rodney Reynders, the cluster leader for sustainability (Greater Middle East and Africa) at Tetra Pak told FoodNavigator-Asia​, “Research shows that consumers are very much aware of the impact packaging has on the environment,

The new carton package will give consumers a choice to have a package made mainly from renewable resources, with a lower environmental impact that other types of beverage packaging.”

Oasis will continue to sell its conventional bottled water products alongside the new carton water products.

Paperboard material

According to Reynders, the carton is mainly made from paperboard, a renewable material made from wood, that is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified.

There are also layers of polyethylene and aluminium that protect the product from light and oxygen​.”

While the packaging is not bio-degradable, it is fully recyclable.

The carton packaging for Oasis will be manufactured in Djon, France.

Other sustainable efforts

Within the region, Tetra Pak has partnered with Saudi Arabia’s Obeikan Paper Industries (OPI) under the project name RIYcycle to recycle used beverage cartons into other end products.

This joint initiative includes a new recycling plant in Riyadh which is scheduled to start commercial production in March 2020. “(It is) considered the first of its kind in the region with an annual capacity to recycle 8000 tons of post-consumer beverage cartons​,” Reynders said.

According to Reynders, “Due to its strategical location, Riyadh has become the “recycling hub” for used cartons collected in all GCC countries​.”

He told us engaging in such sustainable efforts meant the company was on track to achieve its 2020 carbon emissions reduction ambitions of saving a cumulative total of 10 million tons of CO2​ since 2010 across the entire value chain from processing through filling to the end consumer. 

In the GMEA region, Tetra Pak hopes to increase the recycling rates of used beverage cartons by partnering with local recyclers.

The firm operates plants in Izmir (Turkey), Jeddah (KSA) and Lahar (Pakistan).

New association

Recently, the Gulf Bottled Water Association (GBWA) was established consisting of major bottled water companies in the Middle East. Headquartered in Dubai, GBWA members will work together to address sustainability and environmental issues that affect the industry and source new methods to improve the standards of quality and purity of bottled water for consumers.

Some founding members of the association include Hamza Iqbal (CEO of NFPC), Tariq Ahmed Al Wahedi (CEO of Agthia Group PJSC), Alexander van’t Riet (CEO of Mai Dubai LLC), and Mohamed Al Owais (chairman of Emirates Refreshments).

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