Some customers are crying over what Wal-Mart excitedly describes as “a square shaped gallon that represents a packaging change consistent with the transformation of milk from pitchers to glass bottles in the late 1800’s and then cardboard cartons to plastic gallons in the early 1950’s,” The New York Times reports.
Wal-Mart says the new milk jugs require no crates or racks for shipping and storage (which saves on water to clean the racks and crates), and are self-stacking because the spout is flatter and each gallon can rest on another during transport, as well as while on display.
Trucks can also accommodate 4,704 more gallons per truck or nine percent of their capacity. The jugs are cheaper to ship and better for the environment. The milk is fresher when it arrives in stores, and it costs less. Sam’s Club says it is saving 10 to 20 cents a gallon.
“I hate it,” cafe owner Lisa DeHoff told The New York Times. “It spills everywhere,” said homemaker Amy Wise. “It’s very hard for kids to pour,” said Lee Morris.
Wal-Mart announced plans to measure its 60,000 worldwide suppliers on their ability to develop packaging and conserve natural resources back in 2006. The company said the project could save 667,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. But some said savings from shipping costs and packaging materials appeared to be going toward giving better prices to Wal-Mart and its customers.
In Canada, 40 percent of milk is delivered in bags.