Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Excessive? Give Me Back My Yogurt Lids!

I miss my plastic yogurt lids (like this one or these).

As a woman who is attempting to exercise regularly and eat a semi-decent diet of something other than gummi bears and Twizzlers, I like to put a single serve yogurt into my lunch several times a week. I like yogurt.  It’s not horrible (like carob or wheat germ) yet it’s still nutritious.

I have one particular brand that I gravitate towards.  Over the past few years, yogurt companies have stopped including plastic lids on single serve containers. This used to be the top barrier above the foil seal.  In an effort to reduce packaging, and become more sustainable, the lids were deemed excessive and only the foil seal remains on top.

I believe the foil seal on the particular yogurt I buy is not adequate enough.  Why?  Twice this week, the foil has peeled back on the edges of the container, leaking yogurt goo all over the rest of my lunch. This is annoying. Not to mention the fact that I then question the viability of my yogurt.  Is it safe? Is it still good?  Did it inherit some sort of contaminant? Obviously packaging ranks as a key factor in food safety and this sometimes poses challenges to reduce packaging.

Food is expensive.  In fact, food costs are rising at almost monthly rates.  For all I know, the organic yogurt I like may come from special cows that like tropical locations and long walks on the beach. This makes it even more expensive.  I don’t like having to throw away a yogurt on mere speculation that the foil seal has failed.

Give me back my lid.

Instead of eliminating packaging to the point where damages become greater, why don’t we work more on recycling?  Polypropylene yogurt cups are recyclable, but are not widely accepted by municipal recycling outfits. If we could generate efforts to get more polypropylene recycled, plastic lids would not be such a big deal.

I regularly wonder about the damages that reductions in packaging cause, and how the cost savings of packaging reduction are likely eaten up by the amount of product loss due to shipping, retail store or consumer damage.

I do believe we should all work to “build a better mousetrap” and engineer the best possible packaging for the products we use and buy.  But if the costs outweigh the benefits, shouldn’t we work a little harder to solve the problem?

In my case, this means a better foil seal on my yogurt – one that won’t peel back from the sides prior to opening. Or,  just give me back the plastic lid until something better can be invented.

In the meantime, I guess I could just stop eating yogurt. But then I might have to actually eat flaxseed, seaweed and the like to get vitamins and minerals.  So, I will continue to suffer with inadequate packaging and carry my yogurt in one of those Gladware or Ziploc storage containers (also polypropylene).  While this truly is excessive, I can reuse the storage container and my yogurt doesn’t end up all over the place. Maybe I’m the one who has to do damage control these days.

One Response to “Excessive? Give Me Back My Yogurt Lids!”

  1. I found this post interesting, although I do not agree that plastic lids should return on yogurts as a solution to your yogurt. Perhaps you could contact the company and let them know about the issue before condemning “lidless” yogurts. Also, it is odd to me that you imply you are gaining sufficient vitamins and minerals from yogurt? I don’t ever think package reduction is excessive since recycling alone is not a solution to our pollution problems as toxic gases are released during the meltdown of plastic. You may have a point though that reducing packaging is futile if it is not done properly. However, even with a plastic lid I’m sure there are still many packaging malfunctions. That’s what comes of machine run operations.

    Maybe you could make your own yogurt in nice plastic lidded reusable containers, or invent a better & Eco-friendly yogurt container and become rich!

    P.S. Nice touch with the cow on the beach picture.

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