Packaging to Protect and Preserve - protecting health while preserving the environment
I want to leave my child a safe, nontoxic world. I want her to have air that is clean and pure to inhale. And I want her to have open spaces to walk through – spaces that are not lined with garbage piled high.
And in my corner of the world – with my tiny little efforts – I endeavour to make the world the place that I dream of leaving my little one.
I am not saying I am perfect. I am far from it.
I do drive several times when I can easily take a bus. I do forget my cloth bag on several occasions and am compelled to ask for a plastic bag. And when I am moving between rooms in the house – multitasking at a crazy pace - I do tend to leave lights on in rooms where they are no longer needed. But all I can say in my defence is - that I try.
I try and ensure that the words - Reduce - Reuse - Recycle flash in my mind all the time.
Every time I put something into the dustbin – I ask myself – did I slip up?
Was there an opportunity to reduce that I missed out on?
Could I have reused what I am putting into the dustbin?
Will it be possible to recycle what I am discarding after use?
One of the things that gave me pangs of guilt on an everyday basis when they hit the dustbin – were the Tetra Pak cartons that made their way into my dustbin.
I am a firm believer in the goodness of UHT sterilized Tetra Pak packaged milk. I am convinced that this is the milk that is safest and best for my family. And of course I leave no stone unturned to offer my family health and happiness on a platter – and so I always use milk packaged in Tetra Pak.
But every time I threw the carton that housed the milk before it was used – into the dustbin – I was compelled to ask myself this question.
Is what is good for my family – just as good for the environment?
What will happen to this carton? Can it be recycled? Will it be recycled? What can one make out of these cartons?
All my questions were answered when I visited the Tetra Pak factory in April this year.
Tetra Pak has found a way to recycle the six layered packaging that it uses to “protect what is good” and keep the food we eat – safe.
Everyone who works for Tetra Pak has visiting cards made of paper created from recycling these cartons.
The cartons are also turned into furniture – chairs, tables and desks. I saw some of this furniture in use at the Tetra Pak factory – but what they really do with the furniture that they manufacture is create desks and benches that they donate to schools for the underprivileged.
Isn’t that amazing? Not only are the cartons we discard – recycled. They also go towards helping educate the children and creating a better tomorrow!
Also saving the environment is not just about recycling – so I find that I pollute the environment much less when I use milk packaged in Tetra Pak.
I buy a month’s supply of milk from the supermarket in one go. I can do that because the milk has a shelf life of 6 months. Something I certainly cannot do with regular milk. I thus save transport fuel.
Because the milk is UHT sterilised – I don’t need to boil it repeatedly unlike regular milk. This saves kitchen fuel.
Also the milk that makes its way to my house does not need to be refrigerated as it is transported because of its unique packaging – markedly reducing its carbon footprint on the world.
And because of the way the packages are shaped – maximum number of packages can be transported in minimum space and this ensures fewer trips to transport the milk – another way in which transport fuel is saved.
So by using milk packaged in Tetra Pak – in my own way – I am saving the environment.
I am a happy Mom now. I am doing everything right for my little one.