Environmentally friendly milk bottles

September 17, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Plastic milk bottles were introduced because of expenditure, ease of use and recyclability. Although plastic milk bottles are cheaper to make and recyclable, the process of recycling plastic is more time-consuming than recycling the original milk containers – glass bottles.

What’s more, not everyone, despite widespread encouragement, recycles. As plastic is an inorganic material that does not decompose, not recycling it creates a mass of landfill waste which is damaging to the environment. Indeed, the average person in Europe throws away 85 plastic bottles per year and only 7% of plastic that is disposed of is recycled properly.

In a response to an appeal for ‘greener’ packaging, supermarket Sainsbury’s are introducing eco-friendly milk bottles. The milk pouches are reported to use up less energy and “take up far less space”. In 2007 Waitrose quietly initiated the product but quickly withdrew it because of “poor sales”; Sainsbury’s, however, have been successful in their milk pouch enterprise claiming “sales have far exceeded [their] expectations”.

The reason Sainsbury’s have had an advantage over Waitrose is attributable to their marketing strategy; before the product was launched Sainbury’s staff had the opportunity to use the milk pouches at home, which enabled them to answer any questions customers had about the product and to assist them if they had any difficulty in using it. The product “costs 6p less than a standard 2-pint bottle of milk”, “contains 75% less plastic”, and, if successful, will “reduce packaging by a third by 2015.”

Although some people will be sceptical of this product, with such impressive predictions for the future, there is no reason why other supermarket chains should not follow suit.

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