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TICCIT®: Trees Into Cartons, Cartons Into Trees

By Jana Harris

May 18, 2023

As you know, my theme this year is “Better Minds, Better Boxes.” The purpose of this theme is to find ways to invest in the future of our industry and our companies through education. This means getting the word out about our industry to the next generation of workers, as well as providing continuing education for our current employees.

AICC and the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation (ICPF) have done a good job with outreach to colleges, and AICC and the Foundation for Packaging Education have done a good job with providing the continuing education our members need. This year, AICC and ICPF are focusing on educating younger, school-age students about what this industry has to offer.

AICC reached out to our friends at the Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC) to inquire about sharing their award-winning TICCIT® program with our members. Ben Markens, president of PPC, graciously said yes and was excited to hear we wanted to promote their program.

So, what is TICCIT (pronounced “ticket”)? It is an educational outreach program that provides an opportunity to connect with local elementary schools. The prepared PowerPoint presentation and script highlight these key aspects about our industry:

  • Benefits of trees.
  • How paper is made.
  • Renewability and sustainability of paper-based packaging.
  • Paper-based packaging is biodegradable.
  • Trees are a crop, just like fruits and vegetables.
  • How we manage our forests.
  • The importance of recycling.

After the presentation, we provide the students with a sapling they plant in a paper-based carton we provide. The student is instructed to plant the carton with the sapling directly in the ground. They are informed that as the tree grows, the carton will biodegrade, completing the life cycle of “trees into cartons, cartons into trees.”

Our company, American Carton, a proud AICC and PPC member, has participated in this program for more than 10 years. The benefits of participation have been many, but these mean the most to us. The program gives us a chance to gather a team of our employees to prepare for the presentation day. Those employees and previous participants have had a lot of fun working together to engage with a school (usually one of their kids’ schools), gather the materials needed, and present to the students. In addition to team building internally, participating in the TICCIT program has allowed us to connect with our community.

We have made connections with teachers and principals at our local schools who really appreciate us coming in to educate the students. Finally, we get to share the sustainability story and open the students’ minds to our industry. I cannot say enough good things about this program.

I hope you will go to and see how easy PPC has made it for you to participate in this fun and interactive program. As stated on the TICCIT website, “Plant a tree, grow a mind.”

Thank you, PPC, for sharing this opportunity!


Jana Harris CEO and Co-owner, Harris Packaging and American Carton Co.

AICC Chairwoman

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