Getting creative with tetra pak cartons

by Cat Woods

Tetra Paks are often seen as a good alternative to plastic but in fact they‘re quite naughty and difficult to recycle as they‘re made of a mix of materials; Tetra Pak estimate that only 26% of their cartons get recycled globally. So, if so few Tetra Paks are being recycled, why not give them a longer life by creating a beautiful hanging planter? 

We’ve being doing just that with the sustainably conscious students at Carmel College this week. It’s something that I learned to do from an online workshop by Green City Events and have loved sharing my knowledge on subject with others. Reduce, reuse, recycle with a twist! 

If you want to have a go yourself…

You will need:

  • A well-rinsed Tetra Pak (milk cartons work best)
  • some thick cardboard as a cutting mat
  • A craft knife and a pair of scissors
  • A pen or pencil
  • String
  • Some peat-free compost
  • A small plant or some seeds 

Hanging planter instructions 

1. Place the Tetra Pak on the cutting mat and use the craft knife to make three X shapes in the bottom. Take your pencil or pen and push it into the X shapes to create three or four small drainage holes.

2. Use a pencil or pen to draw out your window shapes, be sure to leave enough room at the bottom to house your plant. 

3. If you want to allow more light to your plant then you can draw windows on all sides. Again leaving plenty of room at the bottom for your compost. 

4. Carefully cut out the shapes with the craft knife. 

5. Cut a length of string and tie in a loop. You can attach the string simply by opening the tetra pak lid, drop in the knotted section of string and screw the lid back catching the string within it. 

6. Now you‘re ready to plant up your Tetra Pak! Pop some compost in the bottom, sow your seeds or plant your plant, water well and enjoy! Why not then decorate your hanging planter ready for your garden? The only limitation is your own imagination. Get creative!

Carmel college creations

I’d love to see what you create out of a simple tetra pak carton that could have ended up in landfill. Creating something out of what some people call waste is extremely rewarding. 

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