Pro Carton, the European association for carton and cartonboard manufacturers, is calling on the paper-based packaging industry to support its latest initiative, Trees into Cartons, Cartons into Trees (TICCIT).
TICCIT is an outreach and educational program designed to teach the next generation of consumers about sustainability and renewability.
The initiative is aimed at children aged 8-11 and is all about trees, sustainability and the environment. Already actioned in the US, where the program was originally devised by the Paperboard Packaging Council, more than 100,000 children have taken part to date. Pro Carton is now rolling out the program across Europe, following trials in the UK and the Netherlands.
Pro Carton general manager Tony Hitchin said: ‘We are now looking for the packaging companies to nominate ambassadors who are willing to encourage their colleagues to visit schools in their countries, and then the fun really begins. After explaining about all the good things about trees they’ll help the kids to plant a tree sapling into a biodegradable carton to take home to plant in their garden, giving the children the opportunity to witness the ‘trees into cartons, cartons into trees’ cycle for themselves. We’ve heard from past participants how incredible it is to see the children understand that they can make a difference to their immediate surroundings and the world in general by recycling and being friendly to the environment.
‘We believe TICCIT will be a powerful experience for them – and for the participants’ businesses.’
Hitchin continued: ‘The success of TICCIT will rely on the whole of the paper-based packaging industry working to engage their communities. If we have their buy-in, I believe it will be an incredibly worthwhile program for everyone in the industry as it will drive home our environmental credentials, while introducing knowledge, understanding, values and skills to children that will be invaluable in their future lives.’
In the UK, the TICCIT program will be run by BPIF Cartons in conjunction with Pro Carton. It will highlight the benefits of sustainable packaging and how European forests, which provide wood for making paper and packaging materials, have been growing by the equivalent of over 45,000 tennis courts every day, according to the association.
BPIF Cartons general manager Jon Clark said: ‘It’s never been more important for our next generation of consumers to understand the importance of sustainability and recyclability. The TICCIT program is the perfect way for the cartonboard industry to forge strong links with their local communities and pass on these important environmental messages.’