Until fifty or sixty years ago, home milk deliveries from local dairies and creameries used to be a part of the daily routine for many families.
Yet, people started buying milk from the store as it was easier and cheaper, so the milkman started disappearing. Nowadays, people have become aware of the importance of a sustainable way of living, so the milkmen and women of London UK- are making a come back.
Many people prefer to pay more, but help the environment, and avoid plastic and waste.
Pro-glass company My Own Bottle explains that glass is better for the planet, as it is made from all-natural, sustainable raw materials, is 100% recyclable, and can be reused endlessly.
On the other hand, plastic bottles are not biodegradable, so they can stick around for millennia.
Therefore, a growing number of young people try to satisfy their nostalgia for simpler times and go plastic-free, so they dairies in London claim there’s been a surge in interest as more youngsters become concerned with excess waste.
They believe it’s after seeing all the harmful plastic in the ocean, and the catalyst for the sudden interest is believed to be David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II.
Since last year, Milk&More and Parker Dairies of London UK have both seen a dramatic increase in their demand for glass bottles.
In a few years, the increase has been up to 25%, and it is estimated that doorstep deliveries make up 3 percent of all milk sales in the UK, which is around 1 million pints daily.
According to depot manager, Paul Lough of Parker Dairies, this interest in glass bottles is “absolutely phenomenal”. In less than a year, he gained 382 new customers, and 95 percent of them demand glass bottles. He says that young people are much more environmentally conscious.
Glass milk bottles successfully reduce waste, since they can be reused up to 25 times before being recycled.
Moreover, everything just tastes better when it comes from a cold glass bottle.
Paul knows that the glass bottle dairy has attracted a younger crowd, so he is working alongside the demographic, and their product list also includes things like sourdough bread and local honey.
“Without a doubt [they are younger]. That is why we are trying to change our product list. We do sourdough and honeys… we sell 250 loaves a week to new customers.”
A fellow company Milk&More claims that it has gained over 2,500 customers in just one month, and 90 percent of these customers are also requesting the iconic glass bottles.
In the capital, it has added the equivalent of a whole new round. Dairy giant Müller purchased the company in 2016 from Dairy Crest who believed declining sales meant there was no future for the brand. Yet, Müller proved to have a good eye as it pledged to save glass milk bottle doorstep delivery and boost the service.
Patrick Müller, managing director of Milk&More, said that they believe the glass bottles are the future, and they are not just a thing from the past.
“We believe the tradition of the milkman has some fantastic elements that are relevant now. They are a reliable presence for pre-breakfast delivery, they offer an exciting product range including locally sourced produce, and can be a part of the community. We just have to make them relevant for the modern consumer.”
According to Patrick, these new customers are aged around 35 years old, many with young families with a double income. He claims that they care about the local community, and after talking to them, they stated that they also enjoy the experience of the glass bottle, which brings their childhood memories.
Plus, they reduce plastic wastage.
Milkman and milkwomen, welcome back!