Innovative milk carton designed to combat Sao Paulo water crisis

Design students in Sao Paulo, Brazil have designed a milk container that radically reduces the costs of recycling traditional milk cartons.

A team of design students based in Brazil have designed a way to repackage milk to make recycling easier and faster. The need arose when one of the nastiest droughts in decades hit the densely populated area of Sao Paulo. Recycling and managing water waste became crucial as the city struggles to overcome the crisis.

“The task was to redesign a solution that optimizes the use of water and avoids its waste,” stated creator Danilo Saito.

Saito and the rest of the team; Maira Kondo, Akira Mizutani, Lau Bellesa and Mariana Mascarenhas, came up with a way to do away with the traditional milk container, replacing it with Re-Pack Milk.

A standard milk carton is made of several layers of plastic, aluminium, and cardboard. These materials are difficult to recycle and each layer needs to be processed and separated before the recycling process can begin. All of these processes involve water waste.

The Brazilian team have stripped the product down to two basic parts. The first is a biodegradable, reusable cardboard container. The second is a detachable cornstarch bioplastic sack that is housed inside the cardboard container.

The entire package includes one cardboard container and 4 detachable plastic packages, allowing the user to separate and recycle as the need arises.

The innovative design saves on paper production and recycling costs. The hope is that it will lessen the 20 tons of waste produced in the city per day. 

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