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.


Second Helpings: Rethinking, Repurposing & Upcycling Unused Food

Chefs, entrepreneurs, and others are helping us eat our way out of a food waste crisis.

U.S. restaurants
throw away:
84.3% of all uneaten food
Greenhouse gases from food waste:
3.6 billion tons
One restaurant
can produce:
Up to 75,000 lbs. of waste a year
Brought to you by:

Let’s talk about leftovers.
When we’re in the kitchen, we probably aren’t paying much attention to the little scraps that scrape by—a few extra celery stalks, a heel of old bread, or a bruised brown banana. Our old, forgotten foodstuffs might not seem like a big deal, but food waste is adding up to a global problem: in all, we’re wasting 1.3 billion tons of food each year.

Why does so much go to waste?
Nearly one-third of food produced around the world goes to waste because it simply looks imperfect. These so-called “ugly foods” get skipped over by grocery shoppers every day because of their superficial appearance and end up in landfills.

But even picture-perfect, aesthetically pleasing foods get thrown out just the same: according to a 2012 study by Natural Resources Defense Council, Americans alone throw out about half of their food, which is equal to $165 billion each year.

So what can we do with all this perfectly good food?
That’s the question three New York City restaurateurs set out to answer when they opened their low-waste restaurant called Sunday in Brooklyn. Located in the Williamsburg neighborhood, the restaurant serves three meals a day and strives to use every ingredient to the fullest, making the most of every ounce of food they buy—including their kitchen scraps.

Leftover veggie scraps? Those can be pickled and served later. And what happens to that pickle brine when it’s done? That can serve as a pleasantly salty, flavorful addition to a new cocktail. Extra bits of meats and cheese? Wrap them in dough, bake them, and serve them up as gourmet pastries later.

  • Pickled Veggie Bits
  • Heel + Crust Croutons
  • Bruised Banana Ice Cream
  • Spare Meat Pasties

“Minimizing food waste is one of our top initiatives for 2017,” explained Todd Enany, one of the partners behind Sunday in Brooklyn. “There are a ton of instances of not only cross-utilization of our ingredients, but also the use of what most restaurants may consider waste, such as beet tops and broccoli stems.”

There are also more high-tech ways to help out.
A company in Chicago is taking the fight against food waste into the digital age with a new web-based donation system.

MealConnect is a tech platform from the bright minds at Feeding America, the largest domestic hunger-relief organization the U.S., that lets food providers like restaurants, coffee shops, and grocery stores donate unsold foodstuffs.

It works like this: companies looking to donate food can register their available inventory on the app. MealConnect matches them with a nearby food bank in Feeding America’s network in real time, coordinates a delivery driver, and provides both parties with an estimated pick-up time.

So far, MealConnect has saved 333 million pounds of food—that amounts to about 278 million individual meals. There’s still a long way to go to achieve Feeding America’s ultimate goal of eliminating hunger in America by 2025, but keeping all that unsold food out of a landfill is a huge first step.

Food waste is the third largest source of greenhouse gases. The top two?
The nations of China and the U.S.

Finding a solution to food waste can start in our kitchens.
Just ask Hannah McCollum, founder of ChicP, a hummus brand made from surplus fruits and vegetables. After culinary school, Hannah began making hummus from the leftover scraps in her restaurant. At first it was just for her patrons, but soon enough the orders came rolling in, and ChicP took on a life of its own.

By dining or donating, we can all do a part.
We don’t have to be master chefs to make a difference. Organizations like FeedBack are working on ways to minimize the amount of food we waste ranging from massive upcycled food fests like Feeding the 5,000 to alternative programs like The Pig Idea, which uses surplus food unfit for humans to feed pigs (saving 20x more CO2 emissions than the next best recycling option in the process).

By using more of our food and repurposing our leftovers, we can help contribute to a greener (and tastier) future.

Photos courtesy of Sunday in Brooklyn and ChicP Foods

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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