ASEPTIC JUICE BOXES RETURN TO MAINE

AUGUSTA, Maine -- With little fanfare, aseptic juice boxes have begun a return to the shelves of Maine supermarkets, after a law banning them because of environmental concerns was lifted on Sept. 1.Most retailers around the state have quietly fitted them into their shelf plans in the last few weeks. At least one chain was said to offer brochures to inform consumers that the drink boxes were available

AUGUSTA, Maine -- With little fanfare, aseptic juice boxes have begun a return to the shelves of Maine supermarkets, after a law banning them because of environmental concerns was lifted on Sept. 1.

Most retailers around the state have quietly fitted them into their shelf plans in the last few weeks. At least one chain was said to offer brochures to inform consumers that the drink boxes were available again.

"Retailers seem to be very pleased that they can now sell juice in aseptic boxes," Marshall Cohen, president of the Washington-based Aseptic Packaging Council, which represents aseptic box manufacturers, told SN.

"There have been some stories in the press about how the industry is working to do recycling, and hopefully the communities will work with them and support the recycling," he said.

Bernard Rogan, director of corporate public affairs at Shaw's Supermarkets, East Bridgewater, Mass., said his chain started stocking the aseptic juice boxes in its 17 Maine locations as soon as the ban was lifted.

"It was a very quiet reappearance on the shelf, as far as we were concerned. We just put them back up and rearranged the shelves. We treated it as a rather non-news kind of thing. We did not make a big hoopla over it," he said.

Officials at Hannaford Bros., Scarborough, Maine, could not be reached for comment, but Cohen said the chain intended to inform its shoppers about the juice boxes.

"My understanding is that Hannaford Bros. had done some things. They had done a shelf-talker on recycling along with a little brochure to give to customers who are interested in the packaging and recycling. "I also heard that they were planning to mention in their circulars that drink boxes are back," he said.