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Cartons for Good

Our journey
The foundation’s flagship project Cartons for Good is a unique initiative designed to help communities to save surplus food, support farmers’ livelihoods, and promote children’s nutrition and education.

It all started with an idea

As part of its Food+ commitment, SIG plans to increase the total volume of nutritious food and beverages in SIG packaging by 50% by 2030 (compared to the 2020 baseline).

Based on these requirements, SIG wanted to find new ways to make a positive impact on society – through a foundation and an innovative flagship project – and had the idea to use its expertise in filling technology to help communities preserve food locally. This may seem like a simple concept. But it has the potential to tackle two critical barriers to sustainable development: food loss and malnutrition. By targeting these dual challenges, our innovative Cartons for Good model has the capacity to deliver real, scalable benefits to society.

The pioneers of our project

To see how and where we could make a difference in Bangladesh, the SIG Foundation sent out a team to explore the situation first-hand. They talked to everyone from farmers to community leaders.


They also learnt a great deal by talking to BRAC, an international development organisation, as well as local SIG colleagues. Through these on-the-ground discussions, the Cartons for Good project began to take shape.

From waste to worth

The issue of food loss

Although nearly 20 per cent of the population are malnourished and almost half the children are underweight, lots of food goes to waste every day in Bangladesh. Each year at harvest-time, farmers produce more food than they need and with no way to preserve the surplus crops, the food rots and is thrown away.

Challenges to schooling in Bangladesh

Children living in Bangladeshi urban slums face many barriers when it comes to going to and staying in school – in fact, only half of the children living in these areas end up attending school. Aspects like low family income and high population density amplify the problem. Often, in order to ensure the family has something to eat, children have to drop out of school to contribute as manual labourers. This deprives the country of needed talent as well as thousands of children of their hopes and dreams.

How it works

  • Farmers are paid for their surplus vegetables. This gives them extra income from crops they wouldn’t otherwise be able to sell.
  • Communities use the mobile filling unit to cook the vegetables and preserve them in SIG’s long-life carton packages.
  • The food is distributed to local schools. Children get a healthy, hot meal every day. This encourages them to stay in school and gives them better prospects for the future.
  • After use, the packs are collected for recycling at a local facility, so the materials can be used again.

Using SIG’s technology and expertise


SIG is one of the world’s leading solution providers for the food and beverage industry within the field of packaging and filling technology.

To make Cartons for Good work, we needed to come up with a unique filling solution – one that could travel to remote rural locations where we could bring the biggest benefits. SIG’s engineers soon overcame this challenge by developing a downsized and mobile filling line that is easy to operate and maintain locally. They created a system that uses boil-down technology to cook and preserve food in SIG SafeBloc packages.

Children-inspired packaging

As Cartons for Good is also a story about children, we wanted them to be part of our journey. SIG employees told children the story of farmer Rakib who brings his leftover pumpkins to us, so they can be used to feed local schoolchildren.

Storybook - Children-inspired packaging

The children were then asked to draw pictures. We received over 120 colourful drawings with which we created a truly unique design for our Cartons for Good Food packages in Bangladesh.  We used some of the pictures to create a storybook.

Realising our dream

Mid- 2019, we turned the first food-loss affected vegetables into nutritious meals. BRAC distributed the first packs to schools in the urban slums of Dhaka. We began to realize our dream of saving vegetables affected by food loss and at the same time giving children the essential nutrition they need and a better chance of an education.

As the Cartons for Good pilot project continued, SIG experts trained local communities to use our mobile filling unit to cook and preserve surplus vegetables to create school meals.

Enhancing farmers’ livelihoods

Thanks to this innovative solution, farmers in the Balia region of Bangladesh can now bring their excess crops to be turned into meals that are packed in our carton packages. The farmers are paid for their produce, providing them with much-needed additional income.

“There used to be wastage of surplus crops from our farming land, but this will now be put to use with Cartons for Good. We can use the extra money from selling the surplus for next year’s farming. ”
Samsul Alam
Farmers’ Community Representative

Completing the cycle

As part of SIG’s sustainability commitment, we partner with stakeholders to support the collection and recycling of beverage cartons. Cartons for Good are no exception. After use, the packs are collected from schools and taken to a local recycling facility for processing. The result is a strong paper board that can be used to make new products like shoeboxes and book covers.

Looking to the future

We are aiming for a “sustainable change” with a lasting impact on the Bangladeshi farmers, the underprivileged school children as well as the local communities.

Looking to the future, we want to scale the project, in and outside Bangladesh, making sure that Cartons for Good continues to enhance our positive social impact in communities all around the world.

Support us in making a real impact

With a healthy meal every day, we’ll be encouraging children to stay in school and develop their talents for the future. This way, we can make a real difference to both local farmers and underprivileged children. It’s a win-win for everyone.

We’re continuing our support for the project through our SIG Foundation. Join us and contribute your expertise, your resources or financial support to achieve the next steps in our project, so that even more children and farmers will benefit from Cartons for Good.