Green heroes: Mumbai educational institutes turn 10K cartons into bench, bin


Four wings of the St Teresa’s Institute of Education, Santacruz, came together to reduce the number of used Tetra Pak cartons that end up at the dumping grounds of the city.

Through the Go-Green with Tetra Pak Drive, students and teachers of St Teresa’s Convent High School, St Teresa’s Junior College, St Teresa’s Special School and BEd College recycled 10,500 used Tetra Pak cartons into a collection bin and a garden bench.

Plastic-coated cardboard cartons, popularly known as Tetra Pak cartons, protect the nutritional value and quality of milk, juice and other food products.

Students and teachers had collected the used cartons from their homes, societies and the institute’s campus.

Waste management expert RUR Greenlife (Are You Reducing Reusing Recycling) helped the educational institutes in the cut-clean-flatten process for each carton. The institutes then submitted the cartons to Sahakari Bhandar, a firm that recycles waste products in a Palghar plant.

“The participation of teachers and students from different departments helped in the project’s success. It was a moment of pride for the entire Teresian family on the occasion of the 150 years of the Congregation of the Carmelite Religious — a historic foundation of the Third Order apostolic of Mount Carmel,” said Tanuja Waghmare, principal, St Teresa’s Institute of Education.

Making, filling, transporting and disposing of used cartons has an impact on the environment.

Each Tetra Pak carton has six layers of which 70% is paper, 20% polyethene and 10% aluminium.

Giselle D’Souza, one of the teachers who spearheaded the project, said, “The campus is buzzing with students who are sensitised to their role as green warriors. It is amazing to see them collect used Tetra Pak cartons from their homes and housing societies thus spreading the awareness.”

RUR felicitated the winners and green champions with certificates and awards for their contribution.

“This venture encouraged not only the students and teachers to safeguard the environment but its impact also trickled down into their homes, neighbourhoods and the society at large,” said Monisha Narke, founder and chief executive officer, RUR Greenlife.