Why aren't we drinking water and milk out of cans?

Photo: Andrei Stanescu (iStock)

By now, the reasons for moving beyond single-use plastics almost always outweigh their benefits. Pro-plastic arguments frequently boil down to “it’s convenient” or “it’s how things have been for a long time,” while the former include everything from the growing list of microplastics’ harmful effects on ecosystems to continuity errors on Game of Thrones.

In June, PepsiCo announced that it would phase out non-recycled plastics for Bubly and Aquafina packaging, in addition to “testing consumer preferences” for aluminum cans with the latter. In keeping with the eternal conflict between Pepsi and Coke, The Coca-Cola Company has announced its own initiative to transition its Dasani water away from plastics. By later this year in the northeastern U.S., Dasani will be available in aluminum cans; the cans will expand nationwide through 2020, along with the debut of aluminum bottles. Coca-Cola will also release the “HybridBottle,” made with a mix of plant-based materials and recycled plastics.

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Sure, trying to avoid drinking out of a plastic bottle won’t immediately reverse climate change or deforestation or any other macro-level environmental issue, but at least it’s a start in terms of combating widespread plastic waste. And given that some of the largest companies in the world have begun to enlist in the cause, it’s nice to know that we’re finally starting to take these issues seriously.

It had The Takeout staff thinking: Why don’t we drink everything—milk, juices—out of cans or Tetra Paks? Is it that the plastics lobby is all-powerful? Or are we such creatures of habit that the idea of canned milk is total anathema?

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