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My Biggest Complaint About Capri Sun Drink Packages

Kids get so many mixed messages. Take for instance Capri Sun. You know those truly delicious drinks of about 2 sips for a grown up, but a full drink for a kid.

I can recycle beer cans and soft drink bottles, but I don’t want my kids drinking that stuff. I have no problem with giving my kids Capri Suns. I secretly love to swipe a few from kid’s stash when they aren’t looking. But why do parents put up with buying this unncessary environmental nightmare of product packaging?

Don’t believe me that the Capri Sun packages aren’t recyclable? OK, then believe the Capri Sun site:

What is CAPRI SUN packaging made from? Is it recyclable?
CAPRI SUN pouches are polyester-reverse side printed to aluminum then laminated to polyethylene (a plastic polymer). Unfortunately, this packaging is not recyclable. (here)

I’m guessing Capri Sun’s are stuffed in at least 75% of kid’s lunchboxes across the country. Go to any kid’s outing whether it be a birthday party or a soccer game with snacks after the game and chances are really good the kids are going to get a Capri Sun in one of those sleek squeezable pouches that is totally non-recyclable.

Capri Sun’s have become the universal solvent for children’s events. Capri Suns are like beer in college. No matter where you go, that drink is going to be there.

The positive thinking part of me wonders why the package is like this in the first place? Marketing I suppose, but what’s the deal? I’m not an environmental nut (although it seems a few of my complaints do have to deal with the environment) but how did it happen that the most popular kids drink… maybe ever, doesn’t even come in a recyclable container?

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  1. Well,for one thing , my child’s school does not recycle in the lunchroom. So capri sun pouches are small enough not to take up too much space in waste recepticles . They do flatten out and that is probably better than juice boxes where garbage is concerned. I prefer to give my child milk or 100 percent juice . Usually she gets water in a take home bottle that I refill. But yeah, most lunchrooms can’t have 200 plus kids throwing their waste in 3 or four different bins for recyling. I wish they would,but it wouln’t work out .

  2. Six of one, half dozen of the other… Capri Sun is NOT recyclable, in my town juice boxes are (I and do) but the school does not. Are the pouches biodegradable? Probably not from what I just read they are made of! 100% juice is a great though, but with more nutrients in a Capri Sun (read the label, sadly it’s true… they have a great marketing company) and the same amount of sugars as juice, without the artificial colors like in other junk-juice, Capri Sun is a great alternative. My son wants soda (NO, he can’t have it!) but he thinks Capri Sun is as good as a soda (but I know better). I give him both juice (100% juice, calcium enriched) and milk (organic chocolate or organic strawberry, no dyes) but when he wants something fun, I reach for the Capri Sun. Again, they have a GREAT marketing team!!

    Six of one, half dozen of the other. I wish the pouches were recyclable though. I guess I’ll send the company an email, if it matters to them I doubt it.

  3. I was just looking up information on Capri Sun pouches when I came across this website! While I do have the same qualm, that they are very unfortunately not recyclable, I do know kids enjoy this juice very much. And for the mothers that are concerned about sugars, sodas, juices and have a hard time getting their kids to drink the healthier stuff, I’ve been reading up lately and have found that Capri Sun makes a 100% juice version! I’ve gotten my kids to switch with no problem.

    Also, when looking at biodegradeable products, you actually do NOT want them to be biodegradable, they need to be PHOTOdegradeable. This is because is an item is biodegradeable its contents will seep into the enviroment while sitting in a landfill. Also, most items do not sit in landfills long enough to fully biodegrade. Therefore, photodegradation allows for the weakening of the product without seeping into the enviroment.

  4. check out the company TERRACYCLE. They have a program where they will recycle the Capri Sun packages (along with others) that you return to them in a prepaid envelope sent to you. The company will then make them into purses, school supples, etc. On top of that they will donate 2 cents for every Capri Sun package you have sent them to your favorite charity!


  5. Better yet…send all of your empty packages to me. I am a school teacher in Nevada who make the purses and school supplies out of used Capri Sun packages. My students save their packages for me, but I can really use the volume this time of year!!

  6. At our school the recycle teacher, Ms. Dubea, pronouced do-bay,doesn’t know how to recycle them. Can YOU help us. ____

  7. You can recycle the pouches via the Terracycle website! They make purses, etc. out of them and pay the schools .02$ per pouch! I just made our first submission and two weeks we had 500 pouches. Not bad!

  8. Where are the purses going to go once they are old and worn out? Into to trash to be sent to a landfill. Sure, it’s reusing and all, but it’s going to the same place that it would before. The workers are spending so much on this, from the 2 cents per pouch to the manufacturing and labor of making the products. Wouldn’t it be better, money wise and for the earth, to just make a new container?

  9. What kind of process do they use? A multi-layer metallic film like that of Capri Sun doesn’t recycle at a regular recycling center. The structure is made of a Polymer/Adhesive/Metallic Layer/Adhesive/Polymer. Reason for the Metallic layer is because of the following
    1) Metals have close to zero (GPR) gas permeation rate and (WVPR)
    water vapor permeation rate. Meaning gases and water have a
    have a harder time getting in and out of the package. In this case
    I’m assuming its to preserve the taste.
    2) It provides a higher puncture resistance
    There are other reasons; however, those are of main concerns to manufacturer’s.

    Another point I’d like to address is the Photodegradation v.s. Biodegradation mentioned above. Petroleum based plastics photodegrade whereas biodegradable plastics biodegrade (which is actually misleading because the conditions have to be optimal and they infect our recycling centers. but that’s an entirely different argument)

    Regardless, only about 5% of plastics actually do get recycled. There are many factors causing this; however, it’s mainly due to the bottom line (money). Virgin polymer resins are so cheap now because of the dropping oil prices that companies only use recycled plastics for marketing schemes. Even then, often times the recycled plastic is “post industry” rather than “post consumer.”

    Sorry for the rant, I’ve been studying polymers for the past year.

    Hope this shed some light on Capri Sun. For the most part it’s an environmental hazard.

  10. People are buying them by the truckload, so we might as well reuse them and make a little profit for our schools.

  11. I say use an alternative pouch. One that is recyclable, I hate throwing stuff into the trash that could be used for something else. Plastic is not going away in our lifetime, and used plastics are not going away in our grandchildren’s lifetime. Terracycle seems to be my only choice for now for these Capri Sun pouches. I’m glad there is some option available; either that or Boycotting them until they change their “evil” ways.

  12. you can recycle capri sun and earn cash for your school while doing it!!
    check it out for yourselves!

  13. have you ever thought recycling is not always a good idea. picking up your trash is but not always recycling. Just think about this, in some places one garbage truck that eats gas is sent out to pick up your trash (say 44 pounds.) and another truck comes out for your recycling (say 5pounds). How much gas and pollution does using two trucks over one? How much water has to be polluted to recycle paper products?

  14. Correction: Terracyle does recycle capri suns. Go to www.terracycle.org and start a CApri Sun Brigade at your school. We did and we so far have recycled 449 pouches to date. We are beginning our big “drop off your Capri Suns at North” this week so we expect to recycle much more. No one in our town should throw them away now that we can recycle them. Terracycle is making back packs out of the capri suns as well as bags and other items of use. Know also that Capri Sun is also offering 100% juice option as well as Healthy Kids (organic) juice pouches as well as Roaring Waters option as well. All sold by Capri Sun. No longer do you have to choose the sugar drinks. It is easy and affordable for a lot of folks. So if you dont like to throw them away- talk to your PTO and principal like I did and start your own Capri Sun Brigade!

  15. To Amanda,

    I for one never thought that, because that’s a stupid idea. Garbage, landfills, etc contribute to pollution (as well as other problems) way more than a truck that comes around once a week does. Also, your making an assumption as to how much trash people are putting out a week. There are some people who use more recyclable material than they do wasteful material.

  16. Caprisons are perfect unless you are 12 and above you take one drink and your like Hey! who drank my juice?! So yes they need to be bigger but…love the flavors have to admit that.

  17. First - Taylor Coleman - can you tell me how you SHIPPED all the boxes? In a generic box w/ all the pouches in there? How many boxes did it take to mail 500 pouches? Fill me in please.

    We are starting the recycling program in our school. I agree that the pouches themselves are a reflection of a much bigger problem but since I can’t really see taking down an entire company…we can at least recycle them and have them made into something. The kids are getting the point that it’s better to recycle them than toss them and I think that lesson goes a long way.

    The reason they are so popular is because they are the CHEAPEST and like it or not, those are the ones families are going to buy. So while none of us agree that it’s RIGHT…it is what it is. Sometimes in life all we can do is make a dent…and I’d like to think this is at least making a dent.

  18. I just learned that the aluminum in Capri Sun leaches into the juice and is what causes ADHD and possibly autism. No wonder the schools are having so many kids with troubles. These juices are being consumed by nearly all kids at school on a daily basis.


  19. I just thought I would mention this. Capri Suns are made in China. I will not buy them for my children. I had a friend find a chuck of something unidentified in the packet. It was large and rotten. She took pictures. After this, she discovered that they are made in China.

  20. Actually, Capri Sun is made in the United States. Also, the “chuck” she found was probably mold. Capri Sun is preservative free, so if the package is in any way punctured or damaged, mold can grow. If you find a leaky package (as with any packaged item I would assume…) you should throw it away.

  21. It most definitely was not mold. I saw the pictures of the “thing”, if that was mold it was the craziest mold I have ever seen.

  22. Actually the “Apple Splash” is definitely manufactured in China. I just called to the company today to complain that I found several empty pouches in the box that had been puntured and when I went to give the consmer rep the expiration date I saw in the most faint printing “product of china”. And they did in fact confirm that. Pretty terrible and disappointing!

  23. Why do you all care so much about recycling?? Don’t you know that everything you supposedly recycle gets dumped anyways. for ****’s sake you would think you people would know this by now. It is a waste of time to sit there and sort out your garbage. If you have so much ****ing free time that you are able to sort… and i mean SORT , your garbage, then you obviously have nothing important going on in your life. Capri Suns rock and everyone who bitches about the packaging can all shove it. No one gives a damn if it goes in a trash bin. its a drink, and its delicious.

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