Is Tetra Pak deceiving consumers?

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Deutsche Umwelthilfe is suing Tetra Pak for misleading consumers

The German Environmental Aid (DUH) has filed a lawsuit against the packaging manufacturer Tetra Pak against the consumer deception in the district court of Wiesbaden. Only a third of the beverage cartons advertised as "100 percent recyclable", made of paper fibers, aluminum and plastic, are "materially recycled", the DUH federal manager Jürgen Resch justified the current lawsuit.

The German environmental aid agency Tetra Pack wrongly advertises that the boxes are “100 percent recyclable”. Through “such green washing”, the company makes its products “greener than they are” and operates “a new type of particularly brazen consumer deception”, explained DUH federal manager Jürgen Resch and lawyer Dr. Remo Klinger, who represents environmental aid in the context of the legal dispute. The DUH calls for a stop to the misleading advertising campaign by Tetra Pak and an ecological reassessment of the supposedly environmentally friendly carton packaging by the federal government.

Only a third is recycled. Deutsche Umwelthilfe believes that Tetra Pak GmbH & Co KG's advertising campaign deliberately lets consumers believe that the beverage cartons can be completely recycled. Although in reality only a little more than 30 percent of the raw materials “of the beverage cartons sold in Germany are recycled”, Jürgen Resch explained. The head of the Department of Circular Economy at DUH, Maria Elander, added that "in theory almost everything can be recycled", but the practice looks very different - "as the handling of the beverage cartons makes clear." Tetra Pack operates with the advertising statements A particularly brazen form of consumer deception, which must be checked by the court, explained the experts at DUH.

Consumer deception through greenwashing With reference to the information provided by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) and other industry research, the DUH gives numerous reasons why not all Tetra-Pak packaging is currently being recycled in Germany. Ultimately, according to the DUH calculations, only a third of the material, the beverage cartons sold in Germany, is recycled. According to this, "Tetra Pak's claim that its beverage carton packaging would be completely recycled is simply wrong," stressed the circular economy expert, Maria Elander. Tetra Pak did not comply with the request to refrain from misleading advertising statements, so that the DUH was forced to file a lawsuit against the company, emphasized Dr. Remo Klinger. "Such green washing is unfair and is not tolerated by the courts," said the lawyer.

Checking the “ecologically advantageous” rating In view of the current DUH calculations, Jürgen Resch believes that a review of the “ecologically advantageous” rating awarded by the Federal Environment Agency about ten years ago is required for the Tetra-Pak packaging. Because the “assumed recycling rate of 64 percent” at the time is “nowhere near reached”, according to the DUH federal manager. In addition, a study by the Swedish Food Authority (Livsmedelsverket) has shown that one-liter milk cartons with screw caps cause a 50 percent increase in greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional one-liter cartons. According to the DUH, these beverage cartons with plastic pouring aids are also becoming increasingly widespread in Germany and have almost displaced the previous beverage carton from the market. The modern beverage cartons are significantly heavier and contain more and more plastics and aluminum, whereby the proportion of cellulose is continuously decreasing, according to the criticism of the DUH. The Federal Managing Director of Deutsche Umwelthilfe therefore urged an "ecological reassessment" of the "allegedly environmentally friendly beverage cartons by the Federal Ministry for the Environment" (fp)

Image: Bastian Scheefe /

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Video: Tetra Pak Services guided tour at Hannover Messe 2017


  1. Kajira

    In this something is. Thank you very much for the help on this question.

  2. Rivalen

    In my opinion, he is wrong. Let us try to discuss this.

  3. Tauro

    Just a kopeck!

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