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Zero Waste Juice Boxes

This post has been updated as of 03/02/2024.

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Being zero waste is hard enough. Being zero waste with kids is even more difficult! I continue to recycle, but before discovering Bea Johnson and Lauren Singer, I considered my dedication to recycling “enough.” After becoming more familiar with the zero waste movement, I now realize that recycling is not enough. In fact, recycling should be our last resort. Thus began my journey to lower my waste stream. One of the reasons I am trying to lower (not completely eliminate) my plastic use is because plastic cannot be absorbed back into the environment for hundreds and/or thousands of years. All of the plastic I have ever used (even the items I have recycled) is still somewhere on this planet. That’s a sobering fact.

RELATED CONTENT: Best Zero Waste Juice

One of those big streams of waste is juice! My kids love juice! Prior to becoming zero waste I was buying apple juice in disposable plastic containers weekly. You can learn about the specific juice I make here: Zero Waste Juice for Kids. After becoming zero waste, we switched to an 82.5-ounce lemonade drink mix from Costco. I’m still using the lemonade mix from Costco, but I’m still on the hunt for a healthier alternative.

I purchased a 1 gallon (3.75 liters) Rubbermaid Mixermate container so I could add water, lemonade mix, shake it, and voila! A gallon of juice lasts my kids a few days. Edit: When I moved I lost my Mixermate. If there’s one complaint I have about the Mixermate it’s difficult to clean the interior of the handle. So I replaced the Mixermate with a plain jane 1 gallon Rubbermaid pitcher

Instead of purchasing 10 to 12 bottles of apple juice in disposable plastic per month,  now we purchase one container of lemonade mix. The Rubbermaid pitcher and the lemonade mix eliminated a lot of plastic waste. However, we still had milk box waste from school lunches. The reusable juice boxes work for milk too. We pack lunches five days a week. If we average 22 to 23 school days per month, that’s a lot of milk cartons. So how could we solve this problem?

RELATED CONTENT: Zero Waste Milk 
zero waste reusable juice boxes containers

Best Zero Waste Juice Boxes

I needed to find a reusable juice box that could travel with my child to school. The juice box needed to be easy to use/access, have a straw, and be sealed. The best option I found was from the Drink in the Box company. My kids love these. They’re easy to use, colorful, and dishwasher safe. These reusable juice boxes are not cheap at $13 to $15 per box retail, but I’m hopeful these will completely eliminate the need to purchase any disposable juice boxes (for the most part) in the future. 

Edit: I purchased these in 2017. I’m happy to say that I’m still using these reusable juice boxes in 2024! The wording has worn off but the boxes still work and don’t leak! One pro tip– once you fill the juice box, be sure to put the top on with the straw top open so it can push out any excess air. If you seal it with the straw top closed then when your child opens it the box will squirt out liquid.

RELATED CONTENT: Reusable Ziplock and Lunch Bags

My other favorites are asobu Juicy Drink Box, which is priced at $9.99 for one and Rubbermaid Serving Saver Juicebox for a pack of 6, priced at $19.98.

  1. Drink the Box
  2. asobu Juicy Drink Box
  3. Rubbermaid Serving Saver Juiceboxes

Prior to purchasing Drink in the Boxes, I was also buying a 40 pack of 6-ounce CapriSun pouches from Costco. One Drink in the Box is 8 ounces. By filling my child’s reusable juice box I automatically saved 40 CapriSun pouches from the landfill.

CapriSun juice pouches cannot be recycled. They are a plastic/aluminum amalgam. I should say they are extremely difficult to recycle because they can be shipped to a specialty recycler, like TerraCycle, which recycles them for a fee. However, I assume most people do not, because it is expensive. TerraCycle does have some free programs. I’m part of their free toothpaste program, which is wonderful! I also purchased their multipurpose box and I completely filled it up!

I couldn’t afford to recycle CapriSun’s properly, so they went to the landfill. My kids love CapriSun’s, but I’m happy to save 480 CapriSun pouches from landfills in one year! If we continue over 5 years, we will save 2,400 CapriSun juice pouches from landfills. That is a significant change for $12.99!

<img src="capri-sun-juice-boxes-bulk.jpg" alt="caprisun juice box replacement alternative">


I hope you’ve enjoyed discussing zero waste juice boxes. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please share with me in the comments or on Instagram

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<img src="zero-waste-with-kids-juice-boxes-2.jpg" alt=" zero waste juice boxes for kids reusable lunch ideas ">
<img src="zero-waste-with-kids-juice-boxes-2.jpg" alt=" zero waste juice boxes ">


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