Tetra Pak expands school recycling to 1,6000 schools in Hanoi

14:44 | 30/09/2020 Environment

(VEN) The School Recycling Programme, in collaboration between Tetra Pak – the Sweden-based food processing and packaging solution provider –Hanoi’s Education & Training Department, Environment & Natural Resources Department, as well as programme stakeholders, is being expanded to twice as many schools as in the previous year, to benefit 1,600 primary schools and kindergartens in the 2020 – 2021 school year.

“The program expansion manifests our very commitment in eliminating the environmental footprint of cartons that are already more sustainable than other packaging alternatives, of which 75% are renewable and FSC-certified material,” said Ms. Ly Quynh Trang, Director of Sustainability, Tetra Pak Vietnam.

The School Recycling Programme was successfully implemented in 18 districts in Ho Chi Minh City and 19 districts in Hanoi, with the participation of approximately 1,200 schools in the previous school year. Conducting more than 20 training seminars, the programme attracted the attention of nearly 3,000 teachers and the participation of more than 800,000 pupils in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Although the used beverage carton collection programme suffered a nearly half-year discontinuity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the total volume of cartons collected reached up to 269 tons, equivalent to roughly 27 million cartons.

tetra pak expands school recycling to 16000 schools in hanoi
In this year’s programme, schoolchildren continue to be instructed on the simple steps of unfolding the four corners of used cartons, flattening them, sticking covers on carton openings and placing them into dustbins for collection.

“As we all know, waste separation at source is a decisive factor for recycling. Therefore, we highly appreciate programme deliverables in the past year as it sets an example for the practice of segregation at the source. We expect the programme to be expanded beyond Hanoi to benefit other provinces and cities and to be implemented at both households and schools so that waste sorting at source is a common practice in the community,” said Hanoi’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ representative upon reviewing the programme outcomes.

“We have seen a considerable improvement in the awareness and habits of participating teachers and schoolchildren. The programme helps our schoolchildren develop the good habits of handling used beverage cartons for recycling without throwing them away. It also enables our teachers to understand the necessity of waste sorting at source and many of them put it into practice at home. We see these outcomes as the very positive effects of the programme,” further commented Ms. La Thi Huong Giang, Vice Principal, Dinh Cong Primary School, Hoang Mai District, Hanoi.

Participating in this year’s programme, schoolchildren continue to be instructed on the simple steps of unfolding the four corners of used cartons, flattening them, sticking covers on carton openings and placing them into dustbins for collection. The used packages are then collected every two weeks by Lagom and transported to Dong Tien Paper Factory to become materials for useful products such as notebooks, bio-roof panels, and others.

As a programme partner, Mr. Le Trung Thong, Director, Lagom, highlighted: “Solid waste can become “food” for another industrial process, yet it should be sorted at households, schools and offices, so that compounding materials such as paper, plastic or aluminium meet the quality of recyclability. This is why we value Hanoi School Recycling in the sense that it is essential to improve Vietnam’s currently inadequate recycling initiatives and to protect natural resources and the environment as well.”

As a Sweden-based company, Tetra Pak prioritises quality and sustainability as a core of its business. The Company is on track to promote the collection and recycling of used cartons produced for the Vietnamese market.

School Recycling, in particular, is an initiative piloted by Tetra Pak in 2017 and began to be implemented on a large scale in 2019. Apart from the School Recycling Programme, Tetra Pak is actively engaged with community organisations to establish and expand its chain of 56 public drop-off stations so that consumers can bring their used cartons for collection and recycling.

In addition, the Company and other leading consumer goods and packaging companies aligned to form a new recycling initiative named the Packaging Recycling Organization Vietnam (PRO Vietnam) with a goal that all packages by PRO members will be recycled by 2030.

Following the programme expansion in Hanoi, School Recycling will continue to be deployed in other provinces and cities, of which Danang is the programme’s first destination in Central Vietnam.

Nguyen Huong