Thanks to Blue Planet 2, #zeroplastic is trending all over social media at the moment. Overnight everyone is trying their best to reduce single use plastic waste; from buying groceries loose and not using plastic bags, to saying NO to plastic straws. The world has gone crazy looking for quick solutions to reduce our ‘passion for plastic’
Now, is it just me or is there a simple way for us to help reduce household plastic waste staring us in the face?
In 2017, Recycle Now published an article about plastic milk jugs. The average UK household uses 480 plastic bottles a year but only 270 of them are being recycled. That’s 44% not being put in the recycling. .. ? This means that nationally, of the over 35 million plastic bottles being used every day in the UK, nearly 16 million plastic bottles aren’t being put out for recycling. This is predicted to reach 29 billion over the four years up to the end of 2020.
In the 70’s – 95% of the UK had its milk delivered to the doorstep in glass bottles … we’re now down to 4%.
There are so many reasons why the Milkman may be a simple fix to helping reduce household plastic waste. For one, milk bottles are delivered by electric floats, not petrol, with a big environmental tick in the box that would make Elon Musk proud! In addition, they’re delivered in glass bottles which are reused – moving us seamlessly up the waste hierarchy towards the utopia of Waste Management.
Now, let’s consider the strong Social Value associated with the humble Milkman – it’s a community thing! People used to bring your milk in for you if you were out, everyone gave them a tip at Christmas – you even knew their name! Within the home, the milkman’s arrival every day meant if you had unexpected guests or had run out of bread you could rely on your milkman to leave this for you with the promise of payment at the end of the week. In later years I remember our milkman even sold fresh orange juice in bottles and milkshakes, no reason then why our post millennial ‘Milk-Person’ couldn’t add Soya or nut milks to their list of products. Not forgetting the nostalgia either – first to door in the morning had the top of the milk for their cereal, mum would save the sliver and gold foil tops for art projects at school – this bygone way of life meant the morning started with breakfast! No need for sugary breakfast bars when we were kids.
But it costs more I hear you cry…….. We think not when you consider the benefits: Milk delivered by a milkman costs 74p a pint, Tesco’s organic British milk is 60p a pint. That’s only 14p a pint more to keep a British institution alive, save on 7/11 trips when you have run out mid-week and making the right environment choice. It may be ‘the grass is greener thinking’ but we even believe we would have better tasting, fresher milk too.
Well I for one have taken the plunge and my family now have fresh milk delivered every morning from McQueen’s Dairy. The first delivery was met with much excitement in our house and now we have slipped into a comfortable, family focused routine that just ‘feels good’ from every angle!