Send a short note to Wildwood! Read on to find out more!
Well, it’s looking like the only way to buy ready-to-drink refrigerated soy milk without plastic is to spring for the 1-quart carton of Wildwood soy milk. It’s more expensive that way. But the half gallon contains the same plastic spout and cap as the other brands. We’re also buying more packaging when we buy the smaller sizes.
So naturally, I wrote to Wildwood to ask why they feel the need to use a spout and cap on the half gallon cartons, and this is their response on 07/16/07:
The plastic fitment (spout) is mainly used to ensure that bacteria does not enter into the soymilk and cause spoilage. Cartons without the fitment are much more likely to spoil with the folded top once opened. Most consumers also find it more convenient.
“Hmm…” I thought to myself. “Hmm… is there some difference in the spoilage rate between cow’s milk and soy milk? Most cow’s milk cartons don’t have a plastic spout.” So of course, I sent a follow-up e-mail asking that question, as well as questions about the carton itself and whether or not the quart-size would remain spout-free in the future. The folks at Wildwood, as opposed to Silk, were very friendly and prompt answering my questions. Here is the full response with my questions in brackets:
From: “Pulmuone Wildwood Customer Service” firstname.lastname@example.org
To: Beth Terry
Subject: RE: Soymilk
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2007 08:03:28 -0700
You’re quite welcome… answers:
[1) Does soy milk spoil faster than cow’s milk? I hardly ever see the plastic spouts on regular milk containers, just soy milk.]
#1 spoilage depends on the introduction of bacteria.
[Okay, didn’t really answer the question. Here is 2) Do you plan to continue to sell the quart-sized containers without the plastic spout?]
#2 For the time being, yes — that may change in the future, but it’s not been decided. From a market standpoint very few consumers still buy quarts (most have switched to half gallons) and fewer and fewer stores are willing to carry them since they don’t sell well.
[3) Is there plastic on the carton itself? I have been putting the carton in the compost container. Is that okay to do?]
#3 The carton is made by a company called TetraPak — here is what they say on composting: “Composting can be an option for managing carton waste, but not on a large scale. The paperboard component of beverage cartons is degradable under proper (wet) conditions. A study carried out by an Australian research organization found that finely shredded milk cartons incorporated into compost heaps decomposed in 12 to 15 weeks. This makes them suitable for composting programs, although not at a large scale. The final product can be used as a soil conditioner or fertilizer.”
Thanks so much for writing!
Aaron @ Wildwood
P.S. Did you know we now have recipes on our website?
My experience so far is that Wildwood is a friendlier company than Silk (and less corporate.) Perhaps they would be receptive to a little consumer pressure. YOU can send an e-mail to Wildwood to let them know how you feel about the use of unnecessary plastic in their soy milk cartons!
Here is the URL for the Wildwood contact form: http://www.wildwoodfoods.com/contact_us.php
Or you can send an e-mail to email@example.com.
If you do send an e-mail, please leave a comment to let me know. Who knows? Maybe we can make a difference.