Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sign of changing times: The new milk jug

The newly designed milk jug that has been adopted by Costco and Walmart is supposed to be a better designed jug, but the majority of consumers are not happy with it. The newer jugs are a lot cheaper for the manufacturers and are easier to ship as well, they cost less and the milk in them is fresher, but the downside is that these new jugs have no spout which leads to spilt milk everywhere. The new gallon jug is only one example of the thousands of products that are undergoing a rethink, in how to make them more cost effective and efficient.

“This is a key strategy as a path forward,” said Anne Johnson, the director of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a project of the nonprofit group GreenBlue. “Re-examining, ‘What are the materials we are using? How are we using them? And where do they go ultimately?’ ”

The new jug marks a sharp break with the way dairies and grocers have traditionally produced and stocked milk.

Today, they bottle and ship two different ways. The old way is inefficient and labor-intensive, according to members of the family. The other day, a worker named Dennis Sickafoose was using a long hook to drag plastic crates loaded with jugs of milk onto a conveyor belt.

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