Drink pouch ponderings from the Conscious Shopper
I don't have much time to write a post tonight. I spent the evening up to my elbows in soapy suds tainted with the sweet smell of slightly fermented "juice"...I've joined my son's school's drink pouch brigade.
Rotating with three other mothers, I pick up the week's load of drink pouches from the school cafeteria, snip the tops off, wash them out, dry them, and then return them to the school. All so the school can get $.02 per pouch.
I have mixed feelings about the drink pouch brigade.
On the one hand, I think TerraCycle is ingenious for finding ways to make new products out of what would otherwise be trash...and for getting school kids and their parents to do all the leg work. It's not likely that people are going to stop buying drink pouches completely (I've even bought a few in a pinch), so if we're going to keep producing this waste, we might as well find something better to do with it than adding it to a landfill. Plus, it earns money for my kid's school, and what school couldn't use some extra cash?
But on the other hand, does this type of program give parents an excuse to keep buying a crappy product packaged in crappy materials because it helps out their schools? If I were in the market for drinks for my kid's lunchbox, I could totally see myself justifying the plastic pouch over the juice box because one earns money for our school while the other just goes into the trash. And the more fruit punch we drink, the more money my school earns. So I should buy more fruit punch, right?
Plus, I spent an hour and a half washing pouches so the school could earn less than $5. My husband says, "Next time, just give them the $5."
And besides that, I think TerraCycle's end product is super tacky. If we're going to make trash into bags, couldn't we at least make them pretty? (Like these bags Maya*Made created from used coffee sacks.)
But speaking of tacky...I had this fabulous idea while washing the pouches that you could create a homemade/repurposed snack bag by snipping off the top of a drink pouch and somehow afixing velcro to the inside top of the pouch (hot glue gun?). Some of the CapriSun pouches even have see-through backs, so you could see what's inside the snack bag.
My new business venture?...Watch out, TerraCycle. You might have some competition!
What do you all think of the drink pouch brigade?