Introduction: TetraPaks | Eco Processing

About: Welcome to LABracadabra! We are an art, movement and sustainability experimental residency nestled in the coconut groves of Koh Phangan, Thailand. We aim to provide a space to share, practice and develop know…

The first step to reusing what we would otherwise discard is Eco processing : Trash only becomes a useful raw material if processed and stored properly.

Our EcoProcessing instructable series aims to help you build efficient Eco habits.

Hope you find it useful, don't hesitate to leave your input in the comments if you have any question or suggestion, we'd love to brainstorm with you !

Facebook & Instagram -





Step 1: First, a Word About TetraPak Recycling in Thailand...

On our beloved Koh Phangan Island, Thailand, Tetrapaks are not collected nor recycled within a governmental structure.

However, in places like LABracadabra, you can learn how to upcycle them into beautiful and practical things! Check out our schedule on our Facebook page for more info.

In Mainland Thailand, even though Tetrapaks aren’t collected by the public system, a few initiatives do exist to put these packagings to good use :

Greenroof or Green Roof, is a Tetrapak (brand) initiated project that supports separation, collection and recycling of used beverage boxes to make roofing sheets to donate to Friends in Need Volunteers Foundation, who build hospital and school roofs in rural areas.
The project’s partners include the Thai Red Cross, For Friends in Need (of PA) Volunteers Foundation, Big C Super Center, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Thai Beverage Recycle - Recycling Center (Fiber Patt Company Limited) and Department of Environmental Quality Promotion Thailand. Find out more about their process here (video in thai):

More info :

Fiber Patt Company produces high quality wet pulp extracted from UHT boxes to distribute to businesses who wish to reduce the cost of dry pulp imported from abroad. They guarantee the pulp to be at the standard of FSC 100% Recycled. The company has its own beverage recycling center in Samut Prakarn Province and uses its facilities to cooperate with Tetra Pak’s Greenroof project in the production of their roofing sheets

More info :

Magic Box is a CSR collaboration that started in 2009 between Amphol Foods and Kasetsart University. They recycle used UHT boxes to make furnitures and school infrastructures in rural areas. The project encourages everyone to be aware of environmental issues and partake in the solutions by sorting, cleaning and mailing their UHT boxes so that they can get processed.

Source: ที่มา

Last but not least, you can find more infos about tetra pak recycling in thailand directly through the Tetrapak brand’s


Step 2: When Opening a Tetra Pak

For best recycling results, open TetraPak with scissors, straight line close to the glued line, it doesn't affect pouring efficiency and will allow you to make the most out of the material.

The 3rd picture is of one that was torned open; as you can see, milk got in between the opened layers and it will eventually rot and separate further the layers, making it less upcyclable.
Learning to recycle is also about building eco efficient habits. Making that clean cut at the glued line takes as much time as tearing the packaging but makes a hygienic difference for consumption and recycling, so why not assign a “recycling pair of scissors” at a convenient spot in your kitchen where you process your recyclables/open packagings and make your life easier yet more eco friendly ? just sayin’... ;)

Step 3: The Most Obvious One... Drink UP !!!

Hope you know how to do this one ;)

Tip: it's when the content get's poured and consumed !

Step 4: NO Procrastination !!! (We Know You Do It)

DO NOT WAIT TO ECO PROCESS!! Don't procrastinate this, do it as soon as your product is empty to avoid rotting and spoiling the material. Works for the other stuff in your life too...

Step 5: Separating Materials

This is the #1 eco processing Habit. Things CANNOT be recycled if they are not separated. it should be taught at school and in the household, like "brush your teeth 3 times a day and separate your trash". We have to take responsibility for our consuming habit if we choose to buy packaged goods; WE have to do the our best to see it recycled if we want to be part of the solution, and it starts with separating all the different materials systematically whenever possible.

So when your Tetrapack comes with a plastic lid and attachment piece, remove them, clean parts and store accordingly to your home recycling system.

Note : when collecting HDPE parts for recycling in a Precious Plastic process ( for example ), best to only keep the cap itself for that purpose. The part attached to the TetraPak usually comes off with bits of plastic film and cardboard on it, which once shredded and molten would spoil a batch of otherwise good plastic to recycle.

Step 6: Open, Clean & Rinse

This is the second most important step in Eco processing : making sure food packaging is clear of any organic leftover that could rot and spoil the material intended for recycling.

For TetraPak, here are a few cleaning tips:

Cut the top line close to the glued line all the way. Unfortunately we haven't figured out what to do with those glued lines bits, so for now we toss them :(... but if you have an upcycling idea for them, please let us know !!

We advise to pop open the corners for a thorough cleanse, Use a bit of water & soap on a sponge to clean the inside of the carton. Try not to soak it too much, else the different layers of the Tetra Pak sheet will start separating.

Step 7: Drying the Right Way

Leave to dry on a meshy surface of hanging to avoid remaining water to sip back in and separate the different layers.

Step 8: Start Upcycling!

Now Let’s recycle!

Now you know how to best process your Tetrapak into quality raw material you can use to unleash your creativity! Tetrapaks is a great sturdy material that’s insulating and rather weather resistant, ideal to make durable artsy and practical origami projects! Here are a few examples of what you can do with your Tetrapaks!

- Origami Modular Star :

Here's another really cool one from SilkeC2 on instructables:

- Origami box with lid :

- Wallet :

And here's another one from Instructable by Jamieicecream!

- Origami Lamp Shade

- Origami Basket:

Have any other ideas??? Please share links and pictures in the comments!