Source: LOOP SCOOPS
Major funding for LOOP SCOOPS is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Although the information in these materials has been funded in part by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement 83447601 to WGBH, it may not necessarily reflect the views of the Agency and no official endorsement should be inferred.
In this animated video from LOOP SCOOPS, a boy named Brad is quizzed about a "secret weapon" that is virtually indestructible and made of a high-tech composite impervious to heat and light. Brad is surprised to learn that the "weapon" is an ordinary juice box. Brad then learns that one billion juice boxes are thrown out every year, which prompts his decision to use a reusable water bottle instead.
Juice boxes are typically made up of six layers of paper, polyethylene plastic, and aluminum foil. A juice box is an "aseptic" container, meaning it is manufactured and filled under sterile conditions and requires no refrigeration or preservatives to remain germ free. Juice boxes are widely popular for their portability, convenience, and sturdy construction.
The positive traits come with an environmental tradeoff, however. Juice boxes, because of their construction, are not as easy to recycle as other types of packages, and many community recycling services will not accept them. The state of Maine, concerned about the environmental impact of juice boxes, went so far as to ban their sale. This ban was later repealed, but other states have considered adopting similar legislation.
Juice box manufacturers argue that aseptic containers are actually friendlier to the environment than other types of containers. For one, they take up less room than cans or bottles when being transported on trucks from factory to store, thus conserving energy by requiring fewer trips and using less fuel. The aseptic filling process itself also requires less energy than traditional canning and bottling methods. However, rather than choosing between juice boxes and bottles or cans, the best solution may be the one that Brad learned in the video: a reusable bottle or thermos.
Here are suggested ways to engage students with this video and with activities related to this topic.
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