A package should save
more than it costs.

It all started in the 1940s, with the search for a better way to package milk.

Something that could protect what was inside—and the people who drank it—by keeping it safe and stable, even when refrigeration wasn’t available. Something efficient, with a minimized impact on the environment.

“Doing something that nobody else had done before is actually quite hard.”

Founder of Tetra Pak

What we set out to do had never been done, and it took a decade of development to create the first paper-based package that could do what we had in mind. Even the way we planned to fill it (and keep it safe, healthy, and free of bacteria in the process) presented a puzzle that eventually became one of our hallmarks.

Our aseptic cartons were considered one of the most important food innovations of the 20th century.

It was an enormous challenge. But it’s how we created the first Tetra Pak carton package, the distinctive tetrahedron-shaped packaging that inspired our name with its simple, efficient design.

For over half a century, we’ve been creating carton packaging that can safely and sustainably hold liquid food—including milk, of course—to meet the needs of hundreds of millions of people every day.

Today, we’re able to get food to people everywhere, protecting them by protecting what’s inside, with only minimal impact on our environment.

At Tetra Pak, we protect what’s good.

We still abide by our founding philosophy, the idea that packaging should save more—food and resources—than it costs. It's a way of thought that matters even more today than when we started
out—and one which will matter even more tomorrow.

Tetra Pak isn’t the only one protecting what’s good.

All over the world, people are hard at work in small ways on the things that matter to all of us most, from the environment around us to the food that fuels us.

They’re changing how we raise, consume, and think about food, how we care for ourselves and our resources, and they’re sharing the kind of ideas that will change our future for the better.

They’re doing it at the grassroots, quietly and without fanfare.

We’re sharing their stories.

At Groundwork, we’re giving them the attention they deserve: yours. We’re sharing their stories so you can, too.

It’s just one small way you can make an impact. Because when it comes to innovation, inspiration, and changing the world, sometimes one good idea, shared, is all it takes.

Spread the word.

Know someone who’s doing their part to change our world from the ground up?

Give our editors the heads up

These paperboard cartons
are a big deal.

When Dr. Ruben Rausing invented a new way to package milk, he probably didn’t realize he’d just changed the world.

It didn’t take long to figure out that these cartons were perfect for packaging more than milk. Today, airtight, shelf-stable Tetra Pak® cartons are used around the world to keep juice, water, soup, olive oil, nutritional shakes, vegetables, and more safe and sound.

So how does it work?

Tetra Pak cartons use multiple layers of materials to ensure nothing gets in or out of the package. The cartons are made mostly of paperboard, with thin layers of plastic and aluminum working together to keep light, oxygen, and bacteria out, meaning no contamination and no preservatives needed. Ever.


By protecting the integrity of the product, the carton preserves both the taste of the food and all the essential nutrients stored inside.

When it comes to packaging materials, these cartons keep it to a minimum.

In fact, Tetra Pak cartons have a better package-to-product ratio than an egg. By using just the right amount of material, Tetra Pak can ensure maximum product protection while using minimal resources.

Cartons help protect more than just our foods.

Protecting our environment, our food sources, and our natural resources is an essential part of preserving our shared future. That’s why Tetra Pak is committed to using renewable materials—natural resources that replenish over time—and meeting environmentally friendly manufacturing standards.

100% of the paperboard in Tetra Pak cartons is Forest Stewardship Council Chain of Custody certified, meaning all of it can be traced back to responsibly managed forests.

And after they’ve been recycled, the cartons can be turned into tissue, paper products, and green building materials.

By using sustainably sourced, renewable materials, Tetra Pak cartons are protecting our foods, preserving our natural resources, and promoting environmentally conscious practices.

To learn more about cartons, click here.


A Heart of Leafy Greens

Researchers have found that spinach is not only good for your heart, it could also one day be your heart.

Amount of spinach produced annually (2014):
24.3 million tons
Length of the circulatory system, laid out:
60,000 miles
Amount of blood pumped through the body:
7,200 liters per day
Brought to you by:

Since the days of Popeye the Sailor, spinach has been famous for its ability to make us “strong to the finish.” And while this leafy green won’t cause our biceps to inflate like balloons, it can do something equally as extraordinary—it can work like a heart.

Was Popeye on to something?

When you think about cutting-edge medical techniques, chances are that plants aren’t the first thing that springs to mind.

But maybe they should be. Because that’s exactly what researchers from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts have been using as a platform for growing healthy heart tissue.

Scientists may have found
a natural solution to a long-standing
medical problem.

In a paper titled “Crossing kingdoms: Using decellularized plants as perfusable tissue engineering scaffolds,” the WPI team explains how greens like spinach could save a life (and not just if you eat them). Specifically, they’ve discovered that by taking the unique properties found within the plant kingdom they can potentially address long-standing problems in tissue regeneration.

One major issue in tissue regeneration is creating a vascular system that lets blood flow to the tissue and deliver all-important oxygen and nutrients. Current techniques like 3D printing—as innovative as they are—can’t yet create the blood vessels and tinier capillaries needed in a circulatory system.

So the team looked to the plant kingdom and found that spinach leaves, like the human body, possess a tiny, delicate vascular framework which moves fluids throughout: that is, veins.

Growing a heart from scratch.
Building on this discovery, the team removed the plant cells from a spinach leaf by flushing a detergent solution through its stem, leaving behind a “scaffold” made of cellulose—a safe, organic material that’s been used in many other regenerative efforts, including cartilage and bone tissue engineering. They then seeded live human cells onto the scaffold. Those cells successfully transformed around the spinach leaf into something resembling a tiny beating heart.

From there, the team was able to pump fluids and particles comparable in size to human blood cells through the scaffold, confirming that the veins could transport blood.

The future could look a lot greener—on the inside.
While this is all super cool and exciting, we’re still many years away from any salad-based heart patches. Nevertheless, it represents a major breakthrough for patients with severe heart conditions and in the medical field as a whole.

Some of the excitement stems from the idea of finally having a natural solution available for what’s been a limiting problem in regenerative medicine. The dream is that, through this technique, it’ll one day be possible for humans to quickly grow plants in different sizes and shapes for different tissue types.

This breakthrough could prove a
simple way to save countless lives.

For instance, jewelweed may work as an arterial graft, while wood could be used in bone engineering “due to their relative strength and geometries.” And, in Canada, one researcher is working on making ears out of apples.

“You are what you eat” has suddenly taken on a whole new meaning.


Brought to you by We make food & beverage cartons that protect what's good by keeping the food inside them safe and sound. Recyclable and made with renewable materials, every single carton is part of our groundwork for a shared, healthier future. Learn more

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