GIVE OUR CARTONS A SECOND LIFE
Updated: May 8
If you are reading this, chances are you have some milk or juice cartons you'd like to give a second life to.
First off, THANK YOU for reaching out to us!
We've been shipping our soap bars in milk/juice cartons for the past 3 years or more and it was only possible because of all the contributions from the community like yourself. Cos there's no way we can drink so much milk or juice on our own.
tl;dr? We understand. If you prefer not to read so much...watch this video to find out which types of cartons we are looking for and how to clean them.
WHAT KINDS OF CARTONS ARE WE LOOKING FOR?
Well, we'd love to give a second life to any cartons possible, but in all practicality, different sized cartons + different sized orders = plenty of time spent on configuring the best way to package the soaps and accessories safely and aesthetically (even though we know our packaging can be in no way labelled aesthetic).
So to make this practice "sustainable" for us to carry out time efficiently, we prefer
milk / juice tetrapaks that are:
(not aluminium lined....meaning the "insides" are white and CANNOT be silver)
1L (preferable) / 1.89L
Thoroughly rinsed and dried.
Top flap intact (not torn open)
HOW TO CLEAN THE CARTONS IF TOP FLAP IS NOT OPEN?
Very good question.
Cos we actually went back to the neighbour who was the first to help us collect the cartons and asked her HOW she managed to get every carton SO clean despite not opening up the top flap. Here are the tips she shared with us.
1. RINSE IMMEDIATELY AFTER USE
The longer empty cartons are left un-rinsed, the more definite the cartons will get stained, which is a no-no.
2. HAVE A GO AT BEING THAT COOL BARTENDER
Yes. Quarter-fill the cartons with water through the spout and give that carton a good vigorous shake and rinse! Make sure the water gets to every corner of the carton before you empty it. Give a peek (stain check) and sniff (smell check) and repeat as necessary.
3) EXERCISE THOSE ARM MUSCLES
Now it's time to practise HOW FAR you can fling the remaining water out of the carton. This step is necessary to help the carton dry completely.
Tap and shake till you can't feel any remaining water droplets.
Here's a best practice video kindly shared by our neighbour whose milk cartons are truly our GOLD standard.
4. GIVE IT A GOOD SUN-TAN
We don't recommend that you join in this sun tanning session but a few days of Vitamin D will be really beneficial to make sure the cartons dry completely.
WA, SO TOUGH AH?
We decided to outline these steps cos it's really not an easy task to clean the cartons thoroughly especially with the top flaps still closed. There were many times we had to trash a whole bag of cartons we collected because we were horrified at the sight when we cut the cartons open. Some of them were too gruesome so there's no pictures to save your appetite for the next meal.
More importantly, we know each and every one of our contributors have all the good intentions and went through a lot of effort to collect, clean, and transport the cartons, and it will pain them to know that their cartons were eventually trashed. So we hope to pass on every knowledge we've gathered to ensure the highest success rate for the cartons to be reused.
It seems we are asking for a lot, but in actual fact, we do need to do the same if we are intending to recycle the cartons to make sure the cartons do not contaminate other recyclables in the same bin.
What if you are really keen to give second lives to your cartons but not confident you can wash them well enough or do not have enough storage space to keep them whole until you have 20 to pass to us?
If you are good with using a penknife safely, and open to cut open the carton to wash and store, then here's a video of an alternative method.
Our first preference is still to receive the cartons whole so we can custom it to orders of different sizes. But if that's more difficult, we are equally grateful if. you pass us the clean and dried 6cm base + flattened middle section of the carton.
DO WE ACCEPT CARTONS ALL YEAR ROUND?
Yes. Our collection for milk cartons has not paused for the past two years as more establishments and buyers are now open to accepting our #soapsinmilkcartons which we are really heartened by.
In fact, there were several times when we ran out of cartons and had to resort to SOS on our IG so that orders can continue to go out. In one of our emergency shoutout, two contributors reached out immediately and cartons were sent to us within 30 minutes.
Almost every week or every other week, we receive messages from kind contributors across all platforms. But we am unable to accept every contribution due to different reasons - space, distance, time or types of cartons.
One of the most important consideration is also the carbon footprint incurred while this collection is done. Not just at our end, but also for the contributor. As we are in the North East, we will reject any contribution if the contributor is staying or working in other parts of Singapore.
The last thing we want to do is to incur a lot more unnecessary carbon footprint which defe