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Re: [GreenYes] reply to paper cartons
I have been doing some personal experiments with
putting "gabletop" and "asepic" soy milk containers in
my worm bin.  So far everything but the plastic film
is consumed.  I plan to have the worm castings
analyzed for levels of aluminum and any other possible

Seattle, Wa

--- Mark Barron <> wrote:
> hey Van,
>   I did a big report and presentation on these milk
> cartons (AKA aseptic 
> packaging) in my university.  I did experiments in
> our huge, very active 
> school compost pile where i buried typical paper
> milk and juice cartons for 
> a month and a half at least one and a half feet
> under the surface.  I 
> shredded these cartons and they where exposed to 140
> degree heat and 
> moisture and all the microbial creatures 24 hours a
> day and they did not 
> break down in the slightest!  ok, well they swelled
> just a little bit.  I 
> also called many corporations and recycling
> facilities and there is a huge 
> problem with recycling these things.  The best thing
> to do is just avoid 
> this type of packaging, but i know this is the only
> thing that soy milk 
> comes in.
>   I lived in the Seattle city limits for a while and
> they did not recycle 
> these things.  Municipalities that do recycle them
> have lots of trouble 
> collecting enough of them fast enough to make it
> worth the efforts of the 
> few paper mills that accept aseptic packaging.
>   The mills that have the capabilities to deal with
> these things have 
> hydrapulpers - A system that pulps the cartons and
> drink boxes and whatever 
> else is constructed in the same way in water.  the
> plastic (polyethylene), 
> alluminum (which is another material in the soy
> containers/drink boxes) and 
> paper all seperate and go through different screens
> and filters.  I would 
> guess for the most part the polyethylene is just
> thrown away, but it is 
> claimed that it is recyclabe after this process (but
> tropicana told me 
> that).
>   You know what i do with paper cartons after all my
> research?  I use them 
> as roof shigles on sheds and dog houses.  You cut
> out the thick bottom - 
> throw it away (or get even more obsessively
> creative), flatten out the 
> carton and you have four layers of polyethelyne
> (inside and outside are 
> coated) that does not break down in the
> aforementioned experiment... it's 
> bad packaging.
>   Contact your local recycling coordinators and the
> aseptic packaging 
> council to see if they are recycled around your
> area.  Also let the 
> companies that use this packaging know that you are
> unsatisfied with their 
> choice.
> Good luck and be creative.
> ~mark barron
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