The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

June 27, 2007

Soy Milk & my letter to White Wave, makers of Silk

silkTo date, my favorite brand of soy milk has been Silk. In fact, they have a green energy program. The irony is that the symbol of that green energy program is a green plastic cap on the soy milk carton. The name of the campaign: “Green Caps for Green Energy.” As I mentioned in my review of Whole Foods, it’s hard to find soy milk packaged without some plastic. So last week, I sent a note via the contact form on Silk’s web site, and this is the response I received today:

Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2007
From: “Beth Terry”

Hi. I am trying very hard to eliminate plastic waste from my life. I have 2 questions regarding Silk soy milk in the carton.

First, is there any plastic coating on the carton? I have been told that today, many milk cartons contain a plastic coating rather than wax. What is the story with Silk?

Second, why is it necessary to have a plastic screw cap on a milk carton? The whole time I was growing up, we opened our milk cartons on one side without any kind of spout or plastic cap. The milk stayed fresh. I don’t understand why all the milk and soy milk cartons these days have to include plastic. Is it really so hard to deal with plain cardboard?

Thanks in advance for answering my questions.

Beth Terry


From: “WhiteWave Consumer Response” <>
Subject: Our Response to Your Email
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2007 16:47:58 -0400

Thank you for your recent e-mail to Silk®. We appreciate your interest in our company.

At this point there are no nation-wide recycling standards. Each state and jurisdiction has different recycling rules based on cost-effectiveness, quantities of the materials in circulation and regional differences.

We are an environmentally concerned company and will always strive to use the most earth-friendly packaging available. Your comments are appreciated and we will not rule out any future changes, but at this point we feel that we are using the most environmentally friendly and cost effective packaging for our products.

Thanks again for contacting the Consumer Affairs Department.

La Quita Williams
Consumer Response Representative

Ref: N688159


So, basically they didn’t bother answering my question about whether or not there was plastic coating on the carton and blew off my points about the plastic cap. Feh. They’re losing favor fast. I realize they are a big company and their product is in every Starbucks in the country. They don’t have to be nice, but would it hurt?

You might also enjoy...


20% off ReWrite Sale

I love Guided Products recycled binders & notebooks. Read my review.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
14 years ago

After some searching on “Gable-top” I found that San Francisco accepts these containers, as per:

Before composting, I cut off the plastic top.


Beth Terry
16 years ago

I just found powdered soy milk at Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco. Don’t know if it will be as bad as the powdered cow’s milk I grew up with, but it smells like soy milk and it costs way less than the wet kind. Why pay for water and packaging, right?

16 years ago

Hey! You know, you can make your own soy milk at home for pennies. I hear it’s easy-breezy with a soy milk maker, such as Soya Joy. (Me, I make rice milk w/no special equipment– that’s super easy.)


ken ott
16 years ago

I’m annoyed at these plastic caps too. I think the companies that made them are selling them cheaply and people like the “convenience.”

People in this country don’t care about recycling if it’s too inconvenient, so unlike us who toss those into the recycle bin and toss the carton into compost bins, most people don’t.

When I lived in Japan, there were NO plastic lids on carton liquids like milk, coffee milk, juice. And they have *extensive* recycling for these things!!

At schools for instance, kids open and flatten their milk boxes and these are dried and recycled. ALso, every supermarket has recycle bins for not only steel, but glass, aluminum, PET (ANY plastics), paper, and waxy cartons.

So if you want to see comprehensive recycling, visit Japan! Or India.