The UK has been taking some aggressive steps to reduce their solid waste production. One market where they have come up with some innovative solutions is Milk. Rather than the traditional carton or jug, there are several more sustainable milk containers on the shelves of UK stores...
At Daylesford Organic they sell pasteurized and unhomogenised organic milk in these cool biodegradable containers. They are made from calcium carbonate with a binding agent that breaks down into water, CO2, and chalk. This elegant design eliminates the flow of nasty plastics into our landfills. Fittingly their motto is "Caring for our health means caring for our earth. The two are co-dependent and indivisible."
Calon Wen has another interesting solution for packaging their organic milk. Their Eco Pak milk comes in recyclable LDPE bags that you put into a reusable milk jug. You simply put the whole bag in the jug, and cut the corner for easy pouring. When it's empty, you recycle the bag and put another one in the jug. You can watch a short little video on their site.
Green Bottle is another two step approach. The outer container is made from 90% recycled paper and can be ruesed. It pops open and you put a LDPE bag with a built in spout inside. Once the outer conainer wares out it can be recycled or if it ends up in a land fill, it will easily biodegrade. The result is something that looks like a traditional half gallon milk jug but creates 91% of the waste.
Unfortunately for America, these products are not available here so we'll have to stick to recycling or coming up with creative ways to upcycle our jugs.