What’s the Most Eco-Friendly Milk Container?

Cardboard or plastic? The answer may surprise you.


Which milk container is the most environmentally friendly? Pablo Päster, environmental consultant and columnist for TreeHugger.com, calculated the average impact of a quart of each type—cardboard, plastic, glass and TetraPak, a packaging method that allows milk to be stored unrefrigerated until opened. He added up the resources used to produce the milk and the container plus those used in transportation and storage from farm to producer and then to your local grocer.


Cardboard:

3,150 grams of greenhouse gas emissions per quart*

*This analysis is a general view that approximates an average value rather than a value that is exact.


Plastic jug:

2,880 grams of greenhouse gas emissions per quart*

*This analysis is a general view that approximates an average value rather than a value that is exact.


Glass bottle:

2,090 grams of greenhouse gas emissions per quart*

*This analysis is a general view that approximates an average value rather than a value that is exact.


Tetrapak:

1,340 grams of greenhouse gas emissions per quart*

*This analysis is a general view that approximates an average value rather than a value that is exact.