Bellmark Program – consumer awareness and engagement

The school milk programme in Japan has a long tradition. Since the 1950s milk cartons have been part of the lunch offered to children in schools, helping improve their nutrition.

In 2011 Tetra Pak initiated a collaboration with the Bellmark Foundation – a well-known foundation in Japan established in 1960 to support better education for all – to create a Bellmark Program in schools, with the objective of promoting the collection of school milk cartons, providing information about the value of recycling, and teaching how to correctly handle packages before recycling. 

Schools collect “Bellmark Points” for the cartons they recycle, and in return they are given provisions including educational kits and library books. To add points to their schools, kids collect cartons not only from their own homes but also their neighbors and community, and ambassador for carton recycling.

Both chilled and aseptic cartons are being collected for recycling. For aseptic carton, the programme provides a collection channel since collection points are still limited in Japan.

When the programme started in 2011, there were only 42 schools signed up for it. At the end of 2021, over 7,000 schools were participating in the programme.

Annually, an average of 700 tonnes of cartons is being collected through the programme.

Recycling in Japan