Since its inception in 2012, CAREton has been instrumental in raising awareness about the importance of recycling and motivating consumers to recycle their milk and juice carton packages.

Background and initiative

A public and private cooperation

The CAREton Project is a joint effort between the public and private sectors, uniting Tetra Pak and MILO® UHT with collection partners and local government in Malaysia. With a name derived from “Care” and “Carton,” signifying its core values, the CAREton Project upholds its commitment to increase recycling awareness and support the country’s vision for a circular economy.


Throughout its inaugural decade, it remained steadfast in its pursuit of collaborations and partnerships with different stakeholders to maximise its reach and amplify its impact on environmental stewardship. To achieve this, the project includes establishing collection and drop-off points, and providing more convenience for consumers to sort and send their used beverage cartons for recycling.

Careton, people on stage

So far, CAREton has established 600 drop off points with over 70 collection partners across Malaysia. These points can be found at participating local councils, schools, universities, and retailers, some of which are directly suggested by consumers. A motivating factor is that once collected, the used beverage cartons are then transformed into housing materials, which will then be donated to support community projects.

After the used beverage cartons are dropped-off at various collection points, they are consolidated by KPT Recycle Sdn Bhd which acts as the aggregator. Then, the sorted and baled used beverage cartons are delivered to S.H.A. Paper Mill in Shah Alam.

At the paper mill, the used beverage cartons first go through the hydro-pulping process to extract the fibre used to make paper reels. The polyethylene component will then be sent to a dedicated recycling facility operated by S.H.A. Hup-Aik, where they are recycled into ECOPeal panel boards and roofing sheets. These are given to NGOs and social enterprises like EPIC Homes and are used to build housing and refurbishment projects for communities such as the indigenous Orang Asli and other underprivileged communities.


Over 10 years of social enterprise

In its first ten years of operation, the CAREton Project’s collection efforts started modestly, with 4.8 tonnes collected in 2012, gradually increasing to 1,409 tonnes in 2023. Cumulatively, since its inception, the project has collected over 4,700 tonnes of used beverage cartons, which were recycled and converted into polyAl1 panel boards and roofing tiles, sufficient to build over 1,500 homes for Malaysia’s Orang Asli communities. This volume equals more than 374 million packs of used beverage cartons.

People and collected cartons

On National Recycling Day (Hari Kitar Semula Negara in Malaysian) in 2023, Tetra Pak and Nestlé Malaysia held a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) exchange ceremony at S.H.A. Hup Aik Recycling Plant in Shah Alam to mark the 10-year cooperation. The ceremony was attended by over 100 partners and guests including YB Nga Kor Ming, Minister of Local Government Development, Malaysia, who said:

“Hari Kitar Semula Negara is a day to acknowledge the importance of recycling and reflect on the actions we can collectively take to protect our mother earth. The CAREton Project is a great example of how the private sector can spearhead sustainability initiatives and collaborate with the government to make a real difference. We are excited to see the CAREton Project expand and reach even more Malaysians, as we all work together to support Malaysia’s transition to a circular economy aligned with the concept of the MADANI Economy.”

MADANI is a policy framework of the Malaysian government. It focuses mainly on good governance, prioritising six integrated components: sustainability, care and compassion, respect, innovation, prosperity and trust.

Speaking on behalf of Tetra Pak, Michael Wu, Managing Director of Tetra Pak Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, and Indonesia, said:

“Developing a sustainable recycling programme is not the responsibility of a single entity, rather, it's a collaborative effort that requires active participation from everyone in the recycling value chain. Tetra Pak and Nestlé Malaysia are committed to continuing to make sustainability our business priority and working collaboratively to create a more sustainable future for Malaysia. We encourage all Malaysians to participate in the CAREton Project and recycle their used beverage cartons to contribute to a circular economy.”

Looking ahead

More local councils and collection points

The CAREton Project continues to expand to include more collection partners, local councils and collection points, making it easier for people in Malaysia to recycle their used beverage cartons.


Juan Aranols, Chief Executive Officer of Nestlé Malaysia, explains:


“Nestlé’s vision is that none of our packaging ends up in a landfill or as litter… Our collaborative efforts have demonstrated the power of public-private partnerships in driving sustainable impact, supporting our shared objective of a waste-free future for Malaysia.”


As the CAREton Project embarks on another chapter, it demonstrates how various entities can collectively contribute to a circular economy by working together to reduce waste, keep valuable resources in circulation, and create sustainable value chains on a national scale. The project is an excellent example of how partnership, firm commitment, and community-driven transformation can foster environmental stewardship and contribute to a lasting greener future.

People at recycling station

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More information

Tetra Pak Malaysia
Terrynz Tan, Sustainability Director ASEAN

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1The non-fibre component of carton packages is known as polyAl, which designates the layers of polyolefins and aluminium being used as barrier against oxygen and humidity to protect the food content in aseptic carton packages.