The Milk (Wo)Men of Washington

During the World Economic Forum's annual gathering in Davos, Loop made its grand debut. The brainchild of Terracycle's CEO, Tom Szaky, Loop partners with major manufacturers--Pepsico, Danone, and Nestle to name a few--to decrease our reliance on single-use disposable packaging. The goal of Loop is to bring back the milk man, picking up empty containers and dropping off refilled ones straight to your front door.

The milk man is back.

In 2017, we started Blue Crate with the mission to reduce our reliance on single-use packaging. Most of the waste that ends up in landfills--and inevitably, major waterways--comes from food packaging. For example, a few humble servings of crackers are sealed in an airtight bag, packaged in an attractive cardboard box, sold to a retailer as a case of boxes, and moved from a warehouse on a pallet wrapped in plastic. From start to finish our modern food system was created to facilitate expediency and convenience with total disregard of the environmental consequences.

When it comes to non-dairy milks, the vast majority of packaging isn't recycled. Period. Tetrapaks, those stackable cardboard looking boxes of alternative milk you find on most grocery store shelves, can't be broken down. Because the container is made from plastic, aluminum, and paper, it is too expensive to separate each individual component to recycle it properly.

That leaves consumer with plastic as their only other alternative. Plastic recycling, however, is a myth. Of all plastics produced since the 1950s, only 9% have ever been recycled. There's a 91% chance whatever you throw into your blue bin every week isn't being recycled.

But grocery shopping doesn't have to be a binary between two bad options. There is a third option: choosing reusable and refillable packaging. We love filling up masons jars with fresh ground peanut butter at MOM's or picking out unpackaged chocolates from the bulk bins at Whole Food. We enjoy snacking on bananas and picking up fresh loaves of locally baked bread from the farmers market. 

Blue Crate, we hope, gives you another great choice to choose from in the growing universe of responsibly packaged products.