APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – Milk carton shortages are hitting states across the nation, and now a local dairy is making preparations to find alternatives.

Lamers Dairy in Appleton is already seeing some supply constraints in their paper packaging and has been notified by packager makers that they will be more difficult to come across in the coming weeks.

“We had heard a number of weeks ago that there was a plant that was going through basically some issues in a different part of the country, and it was going to impact the supply of our paper packaging,” said Mcguire. “It impacts our store from the standpoint that customers are not going to be able to find certain package sizes for a period of time.”

Eric Mcguire, the Business Director at Lamers Dairy, told Local 5’s Samantha Petters he expects cartons will become scarce in the cafeterias of local school districts and recommends lunchrooms and students also look for alternatives in their lunches and programs.

“I think the school districts may potentially experience some issues, and students may need to have alternatives other than milk into their meals,” said Mcguire. “We have also heard that other districts are preparing to offer different package sizes as well.”

Mcguire hopes the school districts they directly supply the cartons to, like Appleton and Green Bay, won’t see too much of a shortage. But he says shortages of the actual processing facilities that bottle milk are the main reason why shortages of packaging are happening in the first place.

“The issue kind of stems from consolidation in the industry,” explained Mcquire, “So because there are fewer processors in the industry, there are fewer suppliers, and anytime one of those suppliers or processors has an issue, it can really impact the industry as a whole.

In the state of Wisconsin, there are only three regulated plants, but Mcguire explains there are also a handful of farmstead operations.