Throw it in the Rubbish
June 1, 2012 9:35am
Polluted creek in Manali, Himachal Pradesh
This month, Tetra Pak released details of their upcoming marketing project: milk consumed by the poor people of developing nations. There’s an industry-projected 30 percent growth in milk consumption over the next decade within the developing world, and Tetra Pak has eyed low-income dairy consumers as their “next big opportunity.”
Currently the majority of milk in developing nations is produced by local farmers and sold unpackaged. However, with the current pattern of dairy industrialization, Tetra Pak projects that packaged corporate milk will overtake unpackaged local milk by 2014. And the vast majority of this packaging will be kid-centered, fun, small, single-serving cartons, which the rural poor and lower middle class can afford. Considering the 30 percent growth in milk consumption, in combination with the 2.7 billion low-income consumers making up Tetra Pak’s new market—this is a staggering amount of single-serving, brightly colored milk cartons.
For anyone who is acquainted with the developing world, colorful rubbish mounds made up of plastic bags, single-serving biscuit packages, and water bottles, piled on the sides of roads or in giant wastelands bordering the city, oftentimes being grazed upon by cows, or monkeys, or even people, is a familiar site. In regions with inadequate waste control, let alone recycling capabilities—let alone the specifically made Tetra Pak recycling capabilities—where will all these billions of new single-serving milk cartons go?
…..Out the window, and wherever the wind blows them I suppose.
Photo courtesy of Daniel Bachhuber