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A weblog by Laura Moncur


Protect Wildlife: Crush Cup Before Disposal

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Yoplait Container Says Protect Wildlife: Crush Cup Before DisposalI was eating Mike’s Yoplait yogurt yesterday and I noticed the following phrase on the cup: Protect Wildlife: Crush Cup Before Disposal. I had seen it so many times that it barely registered in my consciousness. Then it occurred to me: Why do they print that phrase on their containers?

I had heard rumors about skunks, raccoons and other small animals getting their heads stuck in the unique container design. Because the cup is wider at the bottom than at the neck, they end up with the cup stuck. I couldn’t find anything more than Wikipedia to back me up on it. All the other people who have mentioned this didn’t have any corroborating evidence (such as pictures of animals). Even PETA had only an admonition without evidence.

So, Yoplait containers are supposed to kill animals. I’m going to believe that, even though I have no evidence because Yoplait has printed “Protect Wildlife: Crush Cup Before Disposal” on their containers. Still, the question remains: Why do they print that phrase on their containers?

It’s not like the shape of the containers is so important that they couldn’t redesign them. Instead of fixing the design flaw, they just slapped a curt phrase in tiny print onto their packaging. Would we buy Yoplait if they came in something that looked like a tuna can? Yeah, we buy Yoplait for the YOGURT, not the packaging. The packaging makes it look pretty, but frankly, those funny shaped little containers aren’t as efficient as the grocery store brand yogurt. I buy Yoplait DESPITE their stupid packaging design.

Isn’t it time for them to just admit that they made a mistake and redesign the package to “Protect Wildlife”?



  1. Actually the packaging has everything to do with it. I can’t vouch for the validity of any wildlife endangerment claims, but I’m sure General Mills has invested an enormous effort towards a single goal; to increase a product line’s odds of success by differentiating it from competition, creating a unique brand experience that will keep their customer returning for years to come. You see, changing the container’s shape would dissolve what could quite possibly be Yoplait’s single greatest brand asset. If after all, the goal is to be different, how much more different can you be then backwards? If Yoplait loses its cup design, it will no longer be the yogurt company with the backwards cup. Instead they’ll just another yogurt company! The more interesting question is in fact whether or not there is actually any truth to the matter that the big company is somehow suppressing, or if this is just another clever urban legend.

    Comment by Blake — 10/30/2006 @ 11:08 pm

  2. I noticed the same thing — it’s now printed in very lightly raised letters on the bottom of the cup so it’s even harder to find. I sent an email to the company requesting the same thing: redesign the packaging, protect wildlife at the source! I received a curt reply some weeks later that my suggestion didn’t “fit in with our current product plans at this time”

    For my part, I’ve started buying other brands of yogurt. Yoplait may have a highly distinctive container, but not a highly distinctive yogurt, imho. It’s a silly boycott, but what the heck.

    Comment by Sairen — 9/13/2007 @ 2:13 pm

  3. I love self righteous people who would do a silly boycott of Yoplait because of something so stupid. I can’t get over a society like ours who hassles a yogurt brand for animal reasons when we knock down hamburgers and fried chicken like they are bowling pins. Coming from a guy who is not skinny I have a plan “Protect Wildlife” by locking up all of the fat people so they can’t get to McDonalds or KFC and then force feed them yogurt to ween them off animal meat! Yeah I just isolated and bashed fat people so save the future message of how I am wrong to do that because my plan is much better than doing a feel good boycott of a stupid container!

    Comment by Lance — 9/20/2009 @ 11:20 pm

  4. Wild animals DO get trapped in these containers, and YouTube is full of video evidence: skunks, raccoons, squirrels. Yoplait/General Mills wouldn’t even have to lose their inverted shape, if they would only remove the curved inner lip at the top of the cup. This is an easy fix and I cannot believe they have not fixed it yet. I just bought one cup to verify the design has not changed, and it has not. That will be the LAST Yoplait yogurt I buy until they fix this fatal design. Continuing to market a package that you know will cause animals to suffer and die due to dehydration, starvation or cars is just cruel.

    Comment by Cindy M. — 7/31/2010 @ 3:40 pm

  5. How about protecting yourself by consuming the high fructose corn syrup in Yoplait. Choose a brand better for YOU… oh yeah, and the woodland critters too.

    Comment by Leigha — 9/2/2010 @ 4:02 pm

  6. @Lance I agree. People get so worked up over this tiny detail and I’m pretty sure there’s more roadkill than Yoplait cups. (Now, someone’s going to say no there isn’t and give a crappy reason why)

    Comment by Martin — 9/13/2010 @ 6:09 pm

  7. I came to this blog as I was also musing over this phrase on the cup. The cup goes to my trash bin and from the bin to a trash bag which is properly closed before being thrown in the main trash facility for pickup. Do raccoons tear up these bags and get their head stuck in Yoplait cups? I’m surprised.

    Comment by Kab — 10/22/2010 @ 2:24 am

  8. Over the years, the cup designs for the ‘Yoplait’ yogurt has changed and used less plastic for its product. I didn’t understand the whole message, “Protect Wildlife Crush Cup Before Disposal”, on the bottom of the back of the product. I didn’t know the message that was trying to clarify its reasoning behind it. The message bothered me for days and I saved the cup, after washing it for in case to crush it later for recycling. It took me just now to search, read, and found out its reason, from this site…and not from their company site! Their site has many categories toward the main product, but not displaying to tell why the message on the product was printed for its main purpose! I had to type in the message on the Yahoo! Website, clicked on the first site on sight, and reread the reasons for its product changing, its phrase for wildlife, and its issue on this blog from people who had the same problem, like me! Confusion, Confrontation, and Clarification…it was all I needed to understand the reasoning, behind the meaningless phrase on the product! Thank you! And now, I am going to see animals on Youtube, getting their heads in a Yoplait yogurt cup and be stuck with miserable! Thank you again!

    Comment by Nancy — 9/20/2012 @ 1:36 pm

  9. SERIOUSLY?!? Don’t wash out your cups just to crush them… the water you waste is worth more than the racoons. do people realize the world water crisis right now? our water is being polluted with chemicals and drugs, our food will not even be safe soon. We must conserve our fresh water

    Comment by zak — 7/19/2013 @ 4:19 pm

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