Packaging companies across Europe are developing relationships with the next generation of shoppers thanks to the TICCIT (Trees into Cartons, Cartons into Trees) programme which aims to teach primary school aged children about the circular economy, without them realising it!
The scheme, which has already been shared with over 100,000 children in the USA through the Paperboard Packaging Council, has been brought to Europe by Pro Carton, the European Association of Carton and Cartonboard. Packaging companies are being urged to join the initiative to help youngsters understand and choose sustainable packaging.
Graphic Packaging International started its European TICCIT programme last year with selected schools in Bristol. The partnerships were so successful that it has since rolled out the initiative across all of its European offices, including in the Netherlands and Spain. The company says that taking part has the added business benefits of increasing levels of local publicity and enhancing its reputation within the community.
Graphic Packaging International’s EU HR manager, Annet De Groot, said: ‘We have had some fantastic PR opportunities as a result of the TICCIT programme and reputationally it has been brilliant for our workers, stakeholders and local communities alike. It is a real chance to bring everyone together and explain the circular lifecycle of cartons.
‘Beyond CSR, there is also a financial imperative to teach children about cartonboard because they will grow to be the consumers, or even the packaging innovators, of the future. It is important to offer them the full information about how we are tackling climate change with sustainable packaging – and how they can build a better world through their choices.’
Any European packaging company can take part in TICCIT – with a host of resources available in five languages (English, French, German, Italian and Spanish) from Pro Carton’s website, free of charge.
Tony Hitchin, general manager of Pro Carton, said: ‘With the likes of Greta Thunberg and the school strikes, we have seen how strongly young people feel about the environment. TICCIT provides a fantastic platform to reach out to young people and explain the benefits of cartonboard as a renewable, biodegradable and recyclable material.
‘Taking part is simple: just download our TICCIT guide, get in touch with local primary schools to arrange a date and make sure to bring enough saplings for students to plant! Every school that has been involved has given extremely positive feedback from teachers and pupils alike, so it is an extremely effective way of giving back to your local community.’