Your Ideal Egg Carton

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Pigzfly, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. Pigzfly

    Pigzfly New Egg

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    Hi Folks,

    I'm brand new here; there has been a lot of debate in my town lately on yay or nay for backyard chickens. [​IMG]
    I happen to live right on the edge of town, so have neighbours with roosters (and I assume chickens, too!). All of this has me thinking again about one of my pet peeves - egg cartons.
    Several years ago, where my parents live, it was only possible to buy eggs at the store in styrofoam cartons. They weren't recyclable, of course. I tried calling the stores to let them know how much I disliked this practice, especially on their in-house brand. Things are a bit better now, but there's still so much use of the clear plastic ones, which are recyclable but require lots of energy and new inputs to do so.

    If I could design a perfect, reusable egg carton, what should it look like? (Warning - I might actually do this!!)

    Things I've identified so far:
    - clear, so I can see how many eggs I have
    - anti slip on the bottom
    - stackable
    - dishwasher safe (and food safe!)
    - fit size small to extra extra large, so any size from backyard chickens fits
    - some sort of softer lining, so that it's portable and not smashing eggs of different sizes while in transport
    - closes securely
    - has some sort of handle


    What do you, more knowledgeable, folks think about the whole idea? What does your ideal egg carton look like?
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011
  2. kla37

    kla37 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That sounds like the answer to my egg carton dreams!!!
     
  3. sheaviance1

    sheaviance1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2010
    Tennessee
    I like the ones that you use for camping myself. I've never had an egg break in one of those, but only small eggs fit. It is a great design though. They are hard plastic, and have little "ears" that prevent the eggs from shifting too much. They can even be dropped without breaking the eggs inside.
     
  4. franklinstreetwest

    franklinstreetwest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    "Packaging" in general is wasteful. Wether it's the forrest that gets cut down for pulp, the energy to produce it, the GARBAGE chemicals that it takes to make plastics or the plastics that for the most part don't get recylced unless you happen to live in a unique region where the larger part of the population ACTUALLY does recycle. Look up how P.E.T. (the clear plastic) is made and the "cancer hot spots" in the neighborhoods that are located near the plants...it's appalling.

    Since it is impractical to expect grocery store shoppers to bring their own egg basket.....

    Aluminum would be my choice:

    -It is a naturally occurring substance
    -100% recyclable without a loss of quality from one generation to the next
    -food safe
    -can be pressed or extruded into any shape or thickness
    - to encourage recycling, there could be a deposit placed on the carton (I live in Michigan where there is a $.10 deposit on drink cans and it's like having a little savings account. Also a good way for kids to learn about money. Used to walk my grandmother's road and pick up cans to get candy money)
    - even if there isn't a deposit, it is still a metal and therefore a valuable commodity

    If you're looking to design something for mass production on a national or global scale, and are concerned with carbon footprint issues, a cost benefit analysis on manufacturing different substances and subsequently what effect they have on the enviornment from concept to waste bin would be of value perhaps.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011
  5. franklinstreetwest

    franklinstreetwest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Perhaps some gaskets for size and padding that are made from latex rubber...or other naturally occurring substance. Like the old rubber jar seals for canning.
     
  6. Pigzfly

    Pigzfly New Egg

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    Wow - thanks for all the quick replies!

    I never would have thought of aluminum. It is an interesting choice. I definitely understand the issues with plastics. Aluminum has extremely high energy costs to recycle; however the extraction process is even worse and can be very environmentally degrading. I have heard that aluminum is one of the most important things to recycle, for that reason.

    I wish I had lifecycle information on so many things!!

    My dream world includes returnable, reusable egg cartons at grocery stores, with deposits. Unfortunately, that would currently require the development of a whole new infrastructure for that process, plus some major overhauls of legislation around the packaging of eggs. Would also have to do a lot of life cycle analysis on the cost-benefit of having to store, transport, sanitize and relabel the cartons. *dreamy sigh*

    Re rubber - that's potentially a really good one. I was thinking silicone, but I know it's pretty pricey. (My logic - silicone loaf pan $8-$10 retail, ballpark the same amount of silicone an egg carton would use.) I don't know enough about plastics/rubber etc, but a friend of mine does, so I'll ask sometime.
     
  7. franklinstreetwest

    franklinstreetwest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What about coir fiber for the cartons? It is used for TONS of products. It is very durable, it's a waste product from the cocoanut industry, it actually has anti bacterial properties and it's bioegradeable, can be processed/ground and then a binder used to hold it into the appropriate shape.
     
  8. franklinstreetwest

    franklinstreetwest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Shoot for the moon! There has got to be a niche where you could get a foot in the door with returnable, reuseable cartons. If they can still put milk in glass jugs, there has got to be a way to get eggs in a reuse container. Perhaps Whole Foods super markets, various farmers markets & mom/pop meat markets that also carry local eggs & dairy in your state. All it takes is one large corporation with a solid ad campaign to tell consumers what to think and buy.

    Maybe it's just me, but egg cartons seem like something that a decent # of poeple naturally collect and save out of reflex (maybe it's just cuz I raise chickens). I would pay a sizeable deposit for something glass or metal because of the durability & sterility that I "feeel" those two things have. As a simple layman consumer, personally, I distrust most plastics for anything more than "single use" applications. Again as a simple consumer that doesn't know what silcone is or what is intailed in producing it, just that it looks and smells like another porous plastic that holds odors and therefor can't possibly be scrubbed clean of it's potential bacteria......It would require very transparent studies and subsequently a significant public education campaign to get me to pay an $8-$10 deposit on one. I don't think I am the normal consumer though. Most people have no distrust of plastics, the greater public would likely be far more receptive, and ultimately the masses are the ones you have to hook.

    I would be really interested to hear what you discover about plastic options. I work in the greenhouse industry and we use HEAPS of plastic pots, trays & tags...it is an industry that is TRYING to find alternatives also.

    A few years ago, a local operations tested out some corn based "plastic" containers... completely biodegrade. They were sturdy, thick & durable. I left one to kick around in the weather for a year to see how fast it would degrade. It has taken 3 years of Michigan weather to make it loose integrity. But now that it has, it looks like something I would feel comfortable throwing on my compost heap. My Mom still has one in her garage that the color is faded but the integrity of the material is fine. Kinda reminds me of my mom's tupperware plated, but less rubbery. Interesting stuff...and I have heard of soy, rice and bamboo based materials also...
     
  9. Spookwriter

    Spookwriter Overrun With Chickens

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    Oddly enough I read an article the other day about the possibility
    of chicken feathers being recycled into a plastic for egg cartons among
    other things.
     
  10. OldGuy43

    OldGuy43 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I recycle Styrofoam egg cartons all the time. I just put more eggs in them and sell them again. My customers bring them back to me and the cycle starts all over.
     

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