Plastics packaging for milk reduces waste

Despite a 22% increase in milk consumption within the province of Ontario between 1968 and 1995, the amount of solid waste from milk packaging is down 20%.

That's according to the Environment and Plastics Industry Council (EPIC) of the Canadian Plastics Industry Assn.

EPIC's "The Evolution of Milk Packaging and the Effect on Solid Waste in Ontario" study pinpoints a reduction of nearly 3ꯠ tons of packaging waste, from 14꽖 to 11꾁 tons. The study attributes the drop to a shift to lighter and larger packaging sizes.

"This dramatic reduction is due in large part to the increasing use of plastic containers in the delivery of milk," says Cathy Cirko, director of EPIC programs and author of the study. Plastic pouches have been among the most popular. The report shows they've captured approximately 81% share of the market in the province. Another 17% of milk is sold in paperboard cartons, down 15% from its 1968 share. The final 2% come from thin-walled high-density polyethylene containers and glass bottles.

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