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Re: Polypropylene LCA & Stonyfield Farms

I ran into this same problem in Ithaca, New York while doing a project for
the Cornell Vet School.  The issue was one of "densification"- that is
making the plastic suitable for shipping to the recycler.  Some shape
containers were difficult to compact and bale.  In Massachusetts, many
supermarkets actually shread the plastic return bottles while those
supermarkets in New York crush them.  It turns out that the shreading is
much easier to densify and transport and is easy to implement as long as
there is a mechanical means to segregate the plastics.  Compacting is very
sensitive to shape.  Some sorting technologies are also somewhat
shape-dependent.  There is a solution to this issue and some careful
benchmarking will help find the answer.  An environmentally-conscious
yogurt company may work in concert with the larger supermarket chains to
make the shreading option available to the customers that wish to use them.
 I am sure that Stonyfield Farms would be willing to do this if they knew
that there was a solution.

Bob Pojasek

At 11:00 AM 10/28/99 -0400, you wrote:
>I, too, questioned Stonyfield Frams on why they made the choice that they
>In the course of that inquiry (sometime last year), I learned that my
county  --
>Fairfax County, Virginia -- will not recycle #1 or #2 plastic for yoghurt
>containes and margarine containers, even if a resident puts them in the
>recycling bins.  The county actually pays a contractor to take them out of
>recycling stream.  The impression they gave me is that they are not alone
-- I
>think I was told the grade of plastic used in yoghurt and margarine

>is weaker than that used in milk jugs and laundry bottles, and that
>don't want it.  Wouldn't it be nice to find a way out of this dilemma?
>Kathy Davey
>U.S. E.P.A.
>kkoepsel@arrirs04.uta.edu on 10/27/99 03:27:27 PM
>Please respond to kkoepsel@arrirs04.uta.edu
>To:   p2tech@great-lakes.net
>Subject:  Re: Polypropylene LCA & Stonyfield Farms
>Andrea is right that Stonyfield Farm was featured in the Waste
>Management EPA broadcast a year or so ago. I, unfortunately,
>question the wisdom of what they did.
>I first came aware of them when I lived in New Hampshire. They
>have excellent yogurt. However, I bought their product specifically
>(after the taste) because they packaged their product in a no. 2
>recyclable package as opposed to the no. 6 plastic of most yogurt
>In the film I believed that they switched from 2 to 6 because it took
>less material to make the 6's but they are basically no longer
>recyclable!!!!!!!!! So now we end up with a huge pile of yogurt cups
>in landfills from not only them but everyone else. I still question the
>results of this study.
>I now buy my yogurt in no. 2 containers from an organic farm that
>produces the yogurt (with no sugar, finally) in Wisconsin.
>Date sent:          Wed, 27 Oct 1999 13:55:33 -0400
>From:               "Andrea Futrell" <Andrea.Futrell@epa.state.oh.us>
>To:                 <p2tech@great-lakes.net>
>Subject:            Re: Polypropylene LCA
>Send reply to:      "Andrea Futrell" <Andrea.Futrell@epa.state.oh.us>
>> Tim,
>> Stonyfield Farm ( if they're not the food processor in question!) has
>investigated different kinds of lids for packaging their yogurt.  They were
>featured in a WasteWise teleconference in June, 1998.  You can read more
>their packaging at:
>> http://www.stonyfield.com/earth/packaging.htm
>> For the P2 tech crowd, Stonyfield includes environmental messages on all of
>their yogurt lids.  My favorite so far is, "Think more. Use less.  Start
>with a link to Earth Communications Office web site.
>> And they make great yogurt!
>> Andrea Futrell
>> Ohio EPA, Office of Pollution Prevention
>> PO Box 1049
>> Columbus, OH  43216-1049
>> phone  614-644-2813
>> fax  614-644-2807
>> andrea.futrell@epa.state.oh.us
>> www.epa.state.oh.us/opp
>> >>>>>We are doing a study looking at sustainability indicators with the
>> Center for Sustainable Production for a food processing company.

>> We are looking for recent LCA-type data on food-grade polypropylene
>> containers (e.g. yoghurt cups and margerine containers).
>> Does anyone know of documents or persons we should contact?
>> Thanks,
>> Tim Greiner
>> Tim Greiner
>> Greiner Environmental
>> 47R Englewood Road
>> Gloucester, MA   01930
>> P: 978-525-2214
>> F: 978-525-2247<<<<<
>Kirsten M. Koepsel
>Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center
>7300 Jack Newell Blvd., South
>Fort Worth, TX  76118
>817-272-5977 (fax)
>kkoepsel@arri.uta.edu (e-mail)

Dr. Robert B. Pojasek 
Pojasek & Associates 
P.O. Box 1333 
E. Arlington, MA 02474-0071
(781) 641-2422 
(617) 788-0288 (FAX)