People at Dannon Co. Inc. are flipping their lids - literally - in a move that will keep 3.6 million pounds of plastic out of the waste stream each year.
The White Plains, N.Y.-based food maker will be removing plastic overcaps on 6-ounce yogurt containers in the weeks ahead and conducting a public awareness campaign to let consumers know about the change.
Dannon will rely solely on a foil seal to protect and transport the product, said Michael Neuwirth, senior public relations director.
``We saw an opportunity to optimize the packaging by removing the overcap. The consumer response has been favorable initially. It's just been rolling out now,'' Neuwirth said.
Six-ounce cups of yogurt are the only Dannon yogurt products that currently have both a plastic lid and an aluminum foil seal, Neuwirth said. Multipacks of yogurt, for example, use foil lids with some type of overwrap such as cardboard. And 16-ounce packages just use plastic lids.
The company is promoting the decision to eliminate the plastic lids through information printed on the foil lids.
``What would you do with 3.6 million pounds of plastic? Beginning this fall, Dannon will remove its plastic overcaps ... because we think there are better uses for all that plastic!'' the lids read.
Dannon yogurt is made at three U.S. sites - Fort Worth, Texas; West Jordan, Utah; and Minster, Ohio. Consumers will start seeing yogurt cups without plastic lids around Oct. 1.
``We are removing the overcaps, specifically in this case, while maintaining the integrity of the packaging,'' Neuwirth said.
``It's important to recognize we're yogurt producers. ... The packaging is designed first and foremost to protect the product and make it easy for consumers to enjoy.''
He would not reveal how many plastic lids are being eliminated each year because that involves proprietary sales information.