To 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.
From: “WhiteWave Consumer Response” <email@example.com>
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
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?