Yoplait Yogurt Containers Are Killing Wildlife, Says Animal Welfare Group

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Animals have been known to get their heads trapped inside the containers and die of starvation or suffocation.

The well-recognized design of General Mills’ Yoplait yogurt containers have contributed to the deaths of “perhaps thousands of animals a year,” alleges Wildlife Emergency Services, an animal rescue group based in California.

In a Change.org petition, the animal welfare group explains, “It's not so much the ‘vercon’ shape of the cup or the size of the opening (5.25 inches), but the thin lip, or flange, at the top that angles in, not out.” Animals tend to get stuck because the cup’s flexible rim allows an animal to push its head inside the cup, but the thin lip at the top of the cup often catches on the animal’s “hide, the back of its skull, or zygomatic arches (cheekbones).”

Usually, without fresh air and unable to eat or drink, the animals die without human intervention.

WES also points out that it is not the first time that General Mills has faced pressure from animal welfare activists to change its packaging — in 1998, the company added a warning label to “protect wildlife, crush cup before disposal” on Yoplait products — but did not change the physical design of the cup.

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“That design is a key lure for customers, and changing it could harm sales,” a spokesperson for General Mills said at the time.