Through its CAREton Project, Tetra Pak Malaysia is working to promote products made from recycled materials – and help build better lives for local people.
The CAREton Project was launched in 2012, with the aim of building on Tetra Pak Malaysia’s existing work to promote recycling in partnership with our customer Nestlé. While the initial campaign focused on the environmental benefits, CAREton shows how recycling can help local communities too.
The project works by teaming up with community organisations and transforming used cartons into new products that directly support their work. “The message to consumers is that by caring for the planet they can care for people too,” says Environment Manager Manjula Murugesan.
In its first year, CAREton provided 10,000 exercise books and 100 pieces of school furniture made from recycled cartons to an educational organization supporting poor children in Malaysia’s cities. In 2013, it delivered 460 sections of recycled polyAl roofing material, enough for 10 new houses, to EPIC Homes, a social enterprise that provides rural housing for indigenous Orang Asli people. That partnership continued throughout 2014, with a further 20 new homes completed during the year.
In 2015, the decision was made to shift focus to the east of the country, which had been badly affected by floods during winter 2014-15. The campaign set a target of collecting 8.5 million used cartons and recycling them into 1,150 roofing tiles, enough for 25 new homes. “The east coast floods were devastating, displacing over 100,000 people,” says Terrynz Tan, Environment Director for Tetra Pak Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and Indonesia. “While many evacuees have since returned, they remained homeless. We saw an opportunity to help them.”
Each roofing tile, measuring around 2.7m by 1.2m, requires 7,247 recycled drink packs to make. PolyAl is lightweight, water and heat resistant, and highly durable. The drink packs are recycled by KPT Recycle, Malaysia’s largest carton recycling facility and one of our recycling partners. In fact, the campaign exceeded its target, and gathered enough material to build 50 new homes in the Kelantan region.
At the same time, the CAREton project has continued to expand its collection network, with Hilton Petaling Jaya hotel the latest partner to come on board. This brings the collection network to more than 20 commercial partners, with over 470 collection points nationwide. A full list of these is available at Recycle Easy.
Tetra Pak Malaysia first introduced carton recycling in 2005. At the time, recycling rates were negligible: in 2014, it stood at 28.4%. “Our achievements to date must be attributed to our recycling partners, KPT Recycle; our collection partners who make it easy for consumers to drop off their used cartons; and of course consumers themselves who collect, rinse and drop off their used cartons,” says Terrynz Tan. “We are committed to keeping the momentum up. We can still do better!”
About Tetra Pak
Together with our customers we make food safe and available, everywhere. Since the start in 1951 we have taken pride in providing the best possible processing and packaging solutions for food.