Merton Council asks carton fans: ‘How do you squash yours?’

New online video competition launched to boost carton recycling locally

Merton Council has today joined forces with carton-maker Tetra Pak to launch a competition to get residents to squash their used cartons before recycling them.

To celebrate just how enthusiastically residents have embraced carton recycling since the introduction of doorstep collection facilities in 2007, the council and Tetra Pak are challenging residents to come up with the most original way to squash their empty cartons in the ‘How do you squash yours?’ competition.

On average, milk, juice, smoothie and even wine drinkers in Merton will use over 100 tonnes of cartons each year. According to tests carried out by carton industry body ACE UK (Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment), every resident in Merton could fit at least three times more milk or juice cartons in their recycling boxes if they simply squashed them first. Not only would this help save space in kitchens across Merton but also help keep trucks off the road and so reduce carbon emissions.

Whether sitting on it, flattening it with a space hopper or getting the local rugby team to squash it in a scrum, there are lots of ways that people can squash their empty cartons. Merton Council and Tetra Pak are challenging residents to film their most imaginative ways of flattening their cartons, and post their clips on The winning entrant – voted for by the public later this year – can choose either a ‘chance of a lifetime’ place on an exciting international environmental adventure – from a wildlife conservation trip in South Africa to volunteering with turtles in Panama – or an Eco TV, 50 hot DVDs and a supply of wine or smoothies in Tetra Pak cartons.

Merton Council cabinet member for environment and leisure services Councillor David Simpson said: “We are supporting the ‘How do you squash yours?’ competition to get more people squashing every time they recycle, as this helps reduce the number of vehicles needed for collecting the recyclable material. Residents have responded really well to our making available carton recycling facilities in the area, but we wanted to do something exciting to encourage them to recycle as many of their cartons as possible. Our recycling rates continue to improve and are now at 33%, but, come on Merton let’s do even more!’

Tetra Pak’s Recycling Operations Manager, Fay Dashper, added: “The response to the carton recycling facilities in Merton has been stunning, but we want everyone to be able to make the most of them. We were surprised to find out just how much difference squashing cartons could make to increasing the capacity for people to recycle – at least three times more cartons can be included in the collection trucks!

“We’re also hoping people can have fun coming up with new ways of squashing their cartons – our team certainly has!”

To enter the competition or view the amusing videos already created by other entrants, visit or

For more information on recycling in Merton, call 020 8274 4902 or visit For more information on beverage carton recycling, visit or

Please remember: squash your cartons before recycling. These cartons can be recycled into envelopes, plasterboard liner, paper carrier bags, broom handles, roof tiles and even garden furniture.