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Cartons given new lease of life at Thai school’s ‘eco-canteen’

ASEPTIC packaging provider SIG is showcasing how companies and communities can work together to turn waste into value with a new ‘eco-canteen’ built almost entirely of used beverage cartons.

Opened in 2018, the canteen at a school in Thailand has been hailed by SIG as a “shining example” to encourage more recycling by demonstrating the value it can bring to communities.

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

Together with the Kasetsart University, SIG ran a competition to design a fully functional canteen built from used and recycled beverage cartons.

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

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.”

Increasing recycling rates forms part of SIG’s ‘Way Beyond Good’ campaign, which aims to put more into the environment than society takes out.

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