Cardboard vs Plastic. What’s best for your milk?

It’s the age old question. Which is a better container for milk? Cardboard or Plastic?

From an environmental perspective, many researchers believe that manufacturing cardboard actually leaves a bigger carbon footprint than plastic.

However, what really matters here is the quality of the milk!

I spent the last few weeks doing my own research, and here are some pros and cons on both types of container.


Cardboard Cartons


Available in smaller sizes, for people who don’t drink as much milk.

Cartons can be designed with more interesting colors and typography.

Easier to put photos of missing children on.


Condensation can leave marks on a wooden table.

Once opened, a classic cardboard milk carton can’t lock in freshness the way a plastic container can. (Counterpoint: Fast milk drinkers will not be bothered by this)




Comes in larger sizes. Like gallons.

Less condensation than cardboard (But still condensation)

Screw-on or pop-off lids keep milk fresher longer


Large sizes not convenient for people who don’t drink a lot of milk. Could lead to spoiling.

Cannot put missing children pictures on plastic containers



What it really comes down to, as you can see, is milk consumption. If you do not drink a lot of milk, cardboard containers might be right for you. But heavy milk drinkers like myself will always benefit from the larger gallon jugs.