Schoolkids are saying sayonara to milk cartons.
Encouraged by a milk industry study that shows children drink more dairy when it comes in round plastic bottles, a growing number of schools are ditching those clumsy paper half-pint cartons many of us grew up with.
Already more than 1,250 schools have switched to single-serving bottles. While that is still a tiny fraction of the nation's schools, it is a significant jump from 2000, when there were none, according to the National Dairy Council.
"Those damn square containers are awfully hard for kids," says New Hampshire Agriculture Commissioner Steve Taylor, who has watched the trend spread to some 320 schools in New England. "Teachers say you can spend the whole lunch period just walking around and opening those containers."
Although plastic long has been the favored packaging for soda and other drinks, schools sought bottled milk only after a 2002 Dairy Council study found milk consumption increased 18 percent in schools that tested bottles. The study also found that children who drank bottled milk finished more of it.
The change to plastic brings schools closer to overall milk packaging trends. In 2001, more than 82 percent of the nation's milk was packaged in plastic, up from 15 percent in 1971, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
1. It would be nice to know that the schools are also taking steps to ensure that those plastic bottles get recycled. No mention of that in the article, though.
2. One thing you could do with the old cartons that you can't with the bottles: After drinking the contents, close the spout, fold down the tented top, place the carton on the floor, and stomp on it as hard as you can. If you do it just right, it makes a very loud and satisfying BANG! as the carton pops like a balloon. Not that I'd advocate such behavior for the school cafeteria, of course. I'm just saying.
3. Will they still include the pictures of missing kids on the bottles?Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 30, 2004 to Food, glorious food | TrackBack