KUALA LUMPUR, December 14, 2014 – Christmas came early for Mr. Sofian bin Othman and his family when they received their new home in Batang Kali, built by the CAREton Project. It is a collaborative consumer recycling initiative by Tetra Pak, working in partnership with MILO and social enterprise EPIC Homes.
“It is not every day one gets to build and hand over a new home to a family who needs it. I feel privileged to have been a part of this and so do the rest of our building team. This home we built isn’t just about our sweat and toil over the last three days. But it is about Malaysian consumers who collected and recycled their used beverage cartons throughout the year. Their daily environmental consciousness helped to make this happen. We can say that many Malaysians contributed to this home,” says Brian May, Managing Director of Tetra Pak Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines.
Over the last three days (12th to 14th Dec), over 50 employees, relative and friends from both Tetra Pak and MILO joined hands with experts from EPIC Homes. It was done to complete the 10th home built using roofing tiles made from recycled used beverage cartons. The CAREton Project started contributing roofing tiles to EPIC Homes since last year.
“Our employees are very enthusiastic about this build and the opportunity to contribute back to the society we operate in,” said Jasmmine Wong, Business Executive Manager, Nestlé Liquid Drinks. “UHT MILO in ready-to-drink packs are very popular among Malaysians of all ages. We want to ride on this popularity to encourage greater recycling of used beverage cartons. MILO has been a strong advocate of the CAREton Project’s collection efforts. We are proud to have contributed in helping surpass this year’s collection targets.”
During the handover ceremony, Tetra Pak and MILO announced that the CAREton Project exceeded its target to collect 5 million used beverage cartons this year. By the end of November, the Project had collected 7.2 million cartons.
“This achievement is really due to two factors. One; we expanded our network of recycling drop-off points to over 460, compared with 230 at the end of last year. This made it easier for people to recycle used beverage cartons. Our collection partners are critical to this success. Two; it’s the contribution of consumers, who collected, rinsed, and brought their cartons for recycling. The more Malaysians recycle, the more good we can do for the environment and for the community,” May said.
The CAREton Project will now contribute roofing tiles for 20 homes, instead of the target 15 homes – to be built by EPIC Homes next year. Building on this year’s success, the CAREton Project will continue to raise the bar for next year’s collection.
“The CAREton Project runs throughout the year even though we set annual targets. Next year we will have a higher target, but you will have to wait for that announcement,” May added.
Tetra Pak cartons are made up of 75% paper, 20% plastic, 5% aluminium and they are 100% recyclable where recycling facilities exist. Tetra Pak’s recycling partner KPT Recycle Sdn. Bhd, which owns and operates Malaysia’s only dedicated beverage carton recycling facility. It is responsible for producing the roofing tiles and other paper products from recycled beverage cartons.
Home #10 and beyond
Today, the team completed the 10th home, built using roofing tiles contributed by the CAREton Project last year. This year’s collection of 7.2 million drink packs will provide EPIC Homes with enough roofing tiles. Enough to build 20 homes for the Orang Asli community next year.
John-Son Oei, Founder and CEO of EPIC Homes lauded the collaborative effort. “Building homes for the Orang Asli is a highly rewarding exercise but can be costly. Each home costs up to RM40,000 to build and we rely on sponsors for materials. Hence, we are grateful to corporate partners such as Tetra Pak and MILO for not only contributing funds and materials, but for taking time to be active contributors in this home build,” he said.
“The CAREton Project has not only provided us with the means to build more homes for Orang Asli families, but has also showed us that our efforts to provide homes for underprivileged communities in Malaysia have not gone unnoticed by fellow Malaysians,” he added.
Making it easier for Malaysians to recycle
This year, to boost recycling of used beverage cartons nationwide, Tetra Pak launched the ‘Recycle Easy’ website, which is designed with geo-location technology to enable consumers, businesses and schools to easily locate the nearest drop-off points or commercial collection centres across Malaysia on their laptops or mobile devices. It can be accessed at http://www.recycle-easy.com.my.