Tetra Pak launches ‘Take Me Back’ initiative to recycle beverage cartons

Carton collection initiative in Chennai to create consumer awareness

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Tetra Pak
Collected cartons to be recycled into useful items and donated to lesser-privileged communities, in consultation with the Greater Chennai Corporation. Photo - Tetra Pak

Chennaites will now experience the power of recycling through a unique initiative being launched by Tetra Pak and Wasted 360 solutions. ‘Take me back’ is an initiative that will help raise awareness about the importance of efficient waste segregation and recycling of used cartons and highlight how recycling is a solution to an environmental challenge and a catalyst for the less privileged socio-economic development. Powered by its clarion call – ‘Maatthi Kaattuvom’, this initiative will spotlight how each citizen can be a strong agent of change, says Tetra Pak. The program is being launched in partnership with Wasted 360 Solutions, a Chennai-based creative waste management social venture.

As part of this city-wide campaign, consumers will now have over 20 deposit points for their used beverage cartons at various retail stores across Greater Chennai City. All collection center details are available on the website. Citizens can also reach out to Dunzo, the logistics partner for the initiative, to provide free doorstep pickup of 50 or more used cartons. For sorting of used cartons, Tetra Pak has associated with Arpanam Trust, a local NGO working for women and children’s empowerment and development. Through the partnership, women at the trust will have the opportunity to earn a living and augment their household income.

Finally, the collected cartons will be recycled into various useful items like furniture, infrastructure, and more and donated to lesser-privileged communities in consultation with the Greater Chennai Corporation.

G Prakash, commissioner – Greater Chennai Corporation flagged the program off by depositing the first used carton into the special bin made of recycled beverage cartons. Similar bins have been placed at all drop-off points across the city.

Prakash said, “Solid waste management is a key priority for us, and we have been undertaking different initiatives in service of the people of Chennai. Programs like ‘Take Me Back’ can go a long way in raising awareness about waste segregation and help recover recyclable material that can continue to serve the society in the form of new recycled utility products. We appreciate the intent of organizations like Wasted 360 and Tetra Pak to bring about a behavioral change among the people of Chennai.”

“Through the initiative, we aim to bring about a behavioral change among consumers towards adopting sustainable practices, starting with looking at ‘waste’ as ‘wealth’. Used paper-based beverage cartons are a valuable resource and can be recycled into many useful raw materials and end products. But the change must start at home, by segregating our waste, and depositing used cartons at the nearest deposit point.

We have been on the journey of building and strengthening the carton recycling ecosystem in the country for over 16 years, and through partnerships with various stakeholders, around 40% cartons sold are already being recycled. We are thrilled to announce this new partnership with Wasted 360 Solutions and we hope that we will have the support of the people of Chennai on this collective mission,” said Jaideep Gokhale, sustainability director, Tetra Pak South Asia.

Ann Anra, founder, Wasted Solutions, said, “As a group of Chennaites who have been working towards building a more waste-conscious society, ‘Take Me Back’ initiative is very close to our heart. It is truly a program that is designed to show you the change that is possible, when we all come together for a common cause. A simple action by Chennaites, of depositing used cartons for recycling, can create a big ripple effect – less waste, cleaner city, empowerment of lesser privileged women, and support for the community at large through recycled products. It exemplifies the saying – One man’s waste is another man’s treasure. So, join us on our journey and we will show you change.”

The Take Me Back initiative is an extension of the Go Green with Tetra Pak program, which has been successfully running in Mumbai since 2010 and encourages consumers to deposit used cartons at deposit points set up across all municipal wards Greater Mumbai area. To date, over 65 lakh cartons have been collected through this program, with more than 320 desks, 200 garden benches, and many other recycled items for the lesser privileged.

Tetra Pak cartons are paper-based and recyclable and can be used to make several useful items such as desks, benches, seats for passenger vehicles, roofs, and even low-cost housing. The company has worked to develop collection and recycling infrastructure across the country. By September 2020, Tetra Pak’s collection network has expanded to cover 22 states and Union Territories, supported by 30 collection partners and four different recyclers across the country.

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