Plastic or Paper?

Plastic versus paper: the eternal debate

October 21, 1970 (PD: 201310)

Uniloy Molding Machice 1970

This Uniloy blow molding machine is seen churning out plastic milk bottles at Hoover, circa 1970

The Alabama Journal of Montgomery, Alabama reported on October 21, 1970 that people buy more milk when it’s sold in plastic jugs than paper cartons.

A spokesman for Pet, Inc., said that even though it costs more for the distributor to put the milk in plastic, it makes more profit.  The article quoted several sources that were debating whether or not milk in plastic jugs should cost more for consumers, since the bottling cost was higher.

Also quoted in the article was a representative of Hoover Ball and Bearing’s Uniloy Division, a leading supplier of blow molding machines that produced plastic milk jugs.  Uniloy’s Samuel Rupert pointed out that if individual distribution companies had their own blow molding machines, the price would be lower than using paper cartons.

Johnson Controls acquired Hoover and its plastic container and plastic container machinery business in 1985.  And while the plastics business was sold off by Johnson Controls in the mid-1990s, another of Hoover’s businesses – the manufacture of automotive seats – remains today as one of Johnson Controls’ core businesses.