BENGALURU: Finally, there is some hope for discarded Tetra Pak cartons after all. In collaboration with South Western Railway, city-based NGO Saahas Zero Waste recently came up with benches made of the reprocessed packaging material. As part of the pilot project, four benches were delivered and placed in Hubballi railway office park last month.
Since the requirement was for benches made from 100 per cent recycled material, the NGO recommended them to be made from reprocessed Tetra Pak sheets. “These benches can take a load of up to 300 kg and are 100 per cent water-proof, termite-proof, non-corrosive and has an expected lifespan of more than 10 years. One of the important aspects of these sheets is that they can be recycled again,” says Tanuja Rao, lead–products at Saahas Zero Waste.
Around 98 kg of post-consumer carton waste goes into making one 8 ft x 4 ft sheet. These are then fabricated into various consumer products. Through the zero waste programme in tech parks, institutions and communities, the NGO collects and sends discarded material to their partner recyclers. According to Rao, there is more than one reason why these benches should be preferred over any other wooden ones. “These benches are excellent at regulating the temperature. They are also way more sustainable and environmentally friendly compared to other alternatives in the market,” she says.
The price varies anywhere between `70 and `150 per sq ft, based on the thickness of the sheets. And in spite of all its advantages over alternatives, price-wise, they are on par with other conventional alternatives available in the market. “Apart from our waste management services, we offer products made from various types of waste. They include stationery, recycled PET products such as T-shirts, caps, backpacks and 100 per cent post consumer reprocessed Tetra Pak building materials, like roofing sheets and PolyAl Flat boards, etc.,” she says. Speaking about their future ventures, Rao says, “Though it is in the initial stage, we are in talks with the some of our clients to design and execute eco-parks in their campuses using 100 per cent recycled materials. ”