26 Feb 2021

WANBO Green Week – Liquid Food Carton Inter-House Competition

WANBO’s environmental ambassadors are launching an inter-house competition to combat the environmental issues caused by liquid cartons. The competition kicks-off Green Week from the 1-5 March 2021.

The competition

Bring your washed and cut cartons to your House office between the 1-18 March 2021. The more cartons you collect the more House points, you will receive! Cartons must be cut and washed as per these instructions otherwise they will not be counted. Watch this short film clip to see how it is done.

House points will be awarded and weekly updates will be published in the newsletter.

Why Liquid Food Cartons?

Liquid food cartons (also known as tetra paks) are used for packaging milk, juice etc. The cartons are made up of multiple layers: paperboard, polyethene, plastic and aluminium which makes them very difficult to recycle and there are few recycling drop-off locations (around Hong Kong).

WANBO have teamed up with *Mil Mill and Vitasoy who will be supporting the recycling process.

What Happens to the Recycled Cartons?

The layers of the cartons must be separated in order to be reused. When the paperboard is removed, it is used to make office paper. However, the polyethene (plastic) and aluminium layers can’t be separated and remain combined as a “polymer”. This is used in the cement industry, or as low-cost housing material. While the process of producing liquid cartons from fresh materials rather than recycled ones is not sustainable, recycling our used cartons is vital in order to reduce the waste we are producing.

What the Student Leaders Say

Sam Hui (11W), WANBO leader, said, “Launching this project has been a fantastic opportunity for our volunteers to engage in issues they care about through hands-on learning. Changes start small, however, the tides are turning. We have been gratified to see that with our team’s continued action and dedication, the environmental awareness of Island School has become much more apparent. Let’s carry on this spirit and continue our sustainable habits as we move forward!”

“It’s truly amazing to see the school community making a difference through positive and profound initiatives by recycling food and liquid cartons which are then sent off to Mil Mill to produce environmental-friendly paper pulps and products.” Sean Lee (11N), WANBO leader.

Dennis Leung (11D), liquid carton ambassador, recalled, “I’m very proud of all the work WANBO has done in tackling our ongoing climate crisis. The experience has been very meaningful for me and I have gradually developed a passion and commitment to making a change with the team.”

Get in touch

WANBO is looking to recruit new student volunteers. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Ross Burrough (ross.burrough@online.island.edu.hk). Space on the teams are limited, so early sign up is advised.

For more regular updates and announcements on the project, as well as opportunities for students to get involved in initiatives, please go to WANBO’s Instagram page @iswanbo.

Notes * Mil Mill is the first pulp mill and education center that recycles beverage cartons in Hong Kong. They are able to process 10 tonnes of beverage cartons daily, and convert them into paper pulp.