A small dairy company in western Iowa is believed to be the only dairy in the country to package milk in plastic bottles that decompose. Bill Horner is the president of Naturally Iowa Dairy in Clarinda – which uses a corn-based resin, rather than oil, to make it’s milk containers.
"We’ve been making plastic out of oil for years and nobody really seems to questions it much," Horner says, "it’s part of the landscape". He says Americans often complain about using foreign oil for gas, but don’t seem to mind that millions of gallons of oil go to manufacturers of plastic.
Horner says, unfortunately, most people don’t recycle and simply throw plastic bottles in the trash. "Our landfills are filling up with petroleum-based bottles," but Horner says his company’s corn-based bottles disappear, back to the earth, in about 100 days. Horner is hoping demand for the bottles picks up soon.
"It is new and it is going to take a while to catch on," Horner says, "but I think when people realize that we have a renewable resource ready to go to work and replace some of the petroleum we use, it seems to me to be a win-win situation for everyone." Horner calls the corn-based bottles "perfect" for packaging their Rolling Hills Organic milk, because they keep light from penetrating the bottle and aging the milk. Naturally Iowa Dairy, which has 20 employees, is planning to use the technology to also begin packaging drinkable yogurt.