School ‘eco-canteen’ gives used cartons new lease of life

SIG is showcasing how waste can be turned into something useful through an ‘eco-canteen’ made almost entirely from used beverage cartons.

The canteen was opened at a school in Thailand in September 2018 and showcased how companies and communities can work together. The 170 children at the school can now drink their milk from cartons in a canteen made of cartons, taking a clear message of recycling home to their families.

Chatramol Intrasorn, school director at Nikom Sang Ton Eang school said: “The eco-canteen is a great way to bring recycling to life by showing children – and their parents – what happens to the cartons after they drink their milk. Helping children understand how recycling can help the environment is really important because they are the consumers of tomorrow.”

SIG teamed up with Kasetsart University, the food manufacturer Ampol Foods and the Fiber Pattana recycling plant to design and rebuild the canteen at the primary school near the company’s production site in Rayong, Thailand.

More than 1.4 million cartons were used into the canteen. Fiber Pattana supplied the tiles for the roof and panels for the walls, made out of aluminium and polymers from used cartons collected mainly from schools. The chipboard tables and chairs were produced from cartons recycled by Ampol Foods, a SIG customer that runs its own recycling plant for beverage cartons.

Increasing recycling rates is part of SIG’s mission to go Way Beyond Good – to put more into the environment and society than it takes out – and awareness raising is a key focus for the company’s community engagement activities.

Navapol Chuensiri, head of cluster Asia-Pacific south at SIG, said: “The eco-canteen serves as a model for SIG’s cartons and collaborative approach to bring benefits to communities and raise awareness of how recycling can help the environment. This innovative approach offers exciting opportunities for similar projects to extend positive impacts in other regions.”

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