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Tetra Pak pilots milk carton collections at schools

Released at: 15:56, 29/09/2018

Tetra Pak pilots milk carton collections at schools

Photo: Tetra Pak

Recycling program trialed in HCMC and then extended around Vietnam.

by Hong Nhung

Tetra Pak, the leading supplier of packaging products for liquid food and beverages from Sweden, on September 28 launched a recycling program to collect used milk cartons at 30 kindergartens in Ho Chi Minh City. After this pilot phase the program will be extended to other schools in the city and around Vietnam.

Supported by the city’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Youth Union, the program, entitled “One second of action to protect the environment”, aims to educate children about good recycling habits to help protect the environment.

Kids will learn how to put straws into milk cartons after drinking, then flatten, fold and dispose of the cartons properly to help save space and make collection easier. Milk cartons will then be collected on a weekly basis, transported to a recycling factory, and made into products such as paperboard boxes, notebooks, tiles and dustbins. Messages promoting environmental protection will also be included in main and extracurricular activities at participating schools.

 "At Tetra Pak, we are proud that every step in the process of making aseptic carton package, from sourcing raw materials, production to delivery to manufacturers is sustainably managed." said Mr. Jeffrey Fielkow, Managing Director of Tetra Pak Vietnam. "But we don't want to stop there. Our ambition is that the carton, after being consumed, will have to be collected and recycled into useful products in order to close the circular economy loop."

A circular economy is a concept that can be described as a closed production process in which all materials and waste are reused or recycled to become new products, thus helping to reduce any negative impacts on the environment while protecting the ecosystem and human health. Working towards this model, Tetra Pak, since the turn of the century, has published a yearly sustainability report assessing the company’s progress in fulfilling its environmental targets.

Its 2018 sustainability report shows that the company has seen a 13 per cent decline in greenhouse gas emissions despite a 19 per cent increase in packages sold. The company is now at 50 per cent renewable electricity, which means it is on track to fulfil its public commitment to RE100 and reach 100 per cent by 2030. Tetra Pak has made outstanding achievements in recycling globally. For instance, it has contributed to recycling the equivalent of four out of ten Tetra Oak packages sold through its recycling work. The company has made investments in recycling infrastructure of nearly $20 million and strengthened collaboration with 160 companies recycling beverage cartons.

In Vietnam, 100 per cent of all Tetra Pak cartons use FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) or controlled wood. The company is further extending its partnership in order to support and develop the collection and recycling system for used milk cartons.

“One second of action to protect the environment” is a socially impactful program conducted amid an alarming increase in waste in Vietnam. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s National Environment State Report 2011-2015 revealed that, on average, one Vietnamese person generates around 1.2 kg of waste per day. The amount of household waste generation in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City was 8,900 tons and 6,739 tons per day, respectively, and this figure is forecast to grow 12 per cent annually.

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