Spanish street artist Dados Punto Cero DA2 ‘TetraBrick Series’ murals are creating much-needed awareness and conversation on the excessive use of landfill and waste production. The murals encourage us to recycle, reduce waste, stop one-use plastics, and motivate us to rethink packaging.
The ‘Tetra Brick Series looks at the recycling process and how easy or difficult it is to recycle specific packaging due to its different components. Tetra Pak cartons are criticised for being more difficult to recycle than tin cans and glass bottles. The difficulty lies in that recycling Tetra packaging demands specific recycling plants that are costly and not easily accessible and that, if not recycled, can end up in landfills.
Tetra Paks are 70 to 90% paperboard, which is recyclable like any other paper or card, however, cannot be included with regular paper recycling because the aluminium foil liner and polyethene cap are included with the carton.
“This series of murals main idea is to denounce recycling for economic purposes instead of ecological ones. The tetra brick is a complex and expensive container to recycle since it has three components, plastic, aluminium and cardboard. The separation of both entails a costly process that barely leaves a profit for companies dedicated to recycling, which is why it often ends up being part of our landfills. In this case, I propose real recycling, transforming that garbage into life.” Dados Punto Cero
“I also associated another idea in some murals, such as the immigrant orange case. I denounced the difficulties that the administration places on immigrants and the facilities for importing oranges, thus making our fruit not collected and lost in the cultivated fields.” Dados Punto Cero
“The mural of Begoña, the Cigoña, makes visible the changes in the behaviour of birds, which have stopped migrating due to climate change and all the problems it entails, including pest imbalance in the ecosystem… In addition, the incorporation of plastic waste in the creation of their nests causes greater mortality in the young.” Dados Punto Cero
These murals by Dados Punto Cero create awareness of the recycling issues of these cartons, especially the aseptic ones, and encourage companies to explore new ways of manufacturing their products to become easier to recycle. The Tetra Pak company is looking to make its packaging more sustainable, using a bio-based cap derived from sugarcane, and replacing aluminium foil with new barrier technologies by 2030, it’s their social responsibility to do what they can to help the environment. However, we must keep the pressure on these companies because a landfill is not a solution; recycling helps, and a refill is the best! As consumers, we should consider a container’s environmental impact when purchasing beverages and other products.
Photo Credit Dados Punto Cero