Bag o’Milk– the Greener Option
Milk. It does a body good (when it's organic, that is). But what does it do for the planet?
I recently returned from a year of living abroad. While I was there, I bought all my milk in plastic bags. And I loved it. There's something so gratifying and simple about plopping the bag into a reusable container with a little handle, snipping off the corner, and pouring away! So given my soft-spot for the bag o'milk, I was particularly excited to read this article saying that the bag is a more environmentally friendly milk-packaging option than the plastic bottles that we use here in the US. One question: clearly a small, recyclable plastic bag is preferable to a larger plastic bottle. But is it better than a recyclable cardboard carton?
It's already happened in Canada. It's in the process of happening in Great Britain. I wonder if it will ever happen in the U.S.? I am referring to changing the packaging for milk containers. In Canada and England (anywhere else?), milk can now be purchased in more environmentally friendly bags rather than plastic bottles.
Currently, most of the bottles used for milk are tossed into the garbage rather than be recycled. Add to that they're made of a high density polyethylene, which can be recycled albeit mainly in China. The bags use 75% less plastic than do the bottles we're currently used to. Less packaging means less waste.
The milk bags are easily stored, too. You just have to get any kind of reusable pitcher, or similar container. When you bring home your fresh bag of milk, simply empty the contents into your pitcher and store it in the fridge.
The bag of milk is a neat new concept. I think that if we're serious about reducing our impact on this planet, this may be a good change to make. I know it seems kind of weird, but it's not that different from our current milk containers. Also, it's not a big sacrifice. I put lots of products into a permanent container once I get it home. So here's to the bag of milk: may you be universally accepted in the near future and stick around far into it.