Schools Make Recycling Fun in Japan

Mar 29, 2018 9:00 AM ET

Our educational program in schools throughout Japan helps to spread information about carton recycling in a fun, interactive way. It is also helping to increase the number of cartons people recycle.

Recycling infrastructure and requirements are different all over the world. In Japan people must open, rinse and dry cartons, otherwise the recycling centres can’t process them. Instead of seeing this as a hindrance, at Tetra Pak, we saw it as an opportunity to spread the message about the recyclability of our cartons and also to educate people about how to recycle.

So, in 2011 we started the Tetra Pak Bellmark Program, a program that runs educational workshops in schools throughout Japan, providing information about the value of recycling and how to correctly handle our packages before recycling them. Schools collect points for the cartons they recycle, and in return they are given provisions including earthquake survival kits and library books. Since the launch more than 6,100 schools have participated and an estimated 1.8 million students have been reached.

In June 2017, a team from Japan Environment visited one of the participating schools for a Q&A session and to get an update on progress. The children were able to ask questions about how recycling works, and the team got to witness first-hand the fun kids had after lunch, opening, rinsing and drying Tetra Brik packages.