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Nicky Colour it green

milk bottles - glass, plastic or starch?

I've been pondering what is the most environmentally friendly.

let's accept I am not going to get a house cow or goats, nor approach my local farmer for unpasteurised milk, nor am I ready to give up milk. (that is a whole different argument).

Locally I can buy plastic cartons of milk from the coop in my village - these are recycled. or I can buy glass bottles of milk from another village shop - and take the empties back. Or I can have glass bottles delivered to my door, or a local dairy is offering, delivered to my door, milk in pouches made from starch that they take back and compost.
Glass seems the obvious one, but glass has a large carbon footprint plus are extra heavy to drive about, plastic is evil, but milk cartons are readily recycled, The starch ones seem the business, but I am not entirely sure what I think about growing a crop for containers...nor can I find out how it is done and where etc. plus they are driving all over delivering it direct

notably all of the milk is from the westcountry.. ie here... the milk in bottles is twice the price of that in plastic and the stuff in starch is three times the price... otoh definitely a localish place.

so...which is best? thoughts anyone?
Slim

Glass is fine if reused many times. Lightweight packaging is best if going to be transported far, more so if going to be transported by many individuals vehicles than by one purpose built vehicle making an efficient delivery route, which is possibly more desirable regardless of packaging, if it saves many motors being turned on that might not otherwise be.

Ask lots of questions about biodegradable packaging. It often isn't, and is often made of petroleum feedstocks in addition to bio based
Nicky Colour it green

Glass is heavy, accounting for about a third if the transport weight I read somewhere, otoh the plastic milk cartons are made with 40% recycled material, meaning each one is 60% new plastic.. that's not good

I think I might switch to glass from the local shop.. even though it's twice the price and harder to carry home.

I wish I could find some comparison figures
Mistress Rose

We just have a choice of plastic from all sorts of places and glass delivered. I have heard that the only delivery people are not too good, but may try them some time as it depends very much on the roundsman. Agree that it is a dilemma, but as with the subject of tins v fresh v frozen, good we are having the discussion.

Some magazines we get are now being wrapped in potato starch, so trying them in the compost heap as they claim to be fully compostable.
gz

We can collect milk from a self service milk shed, but it is 7 miles away.
You buy your refillable bottles first
Slim



I wish I could find some comparison figures


You probably can. I would start by googling milk packaging lifecycle
Nicky Colour it green



I wish I could find some comparison figures


You probably can. I would start by googling milk packaging lifecycle

obviously I have googled it, before asking here.... I wasn't just wishing for figures without looking for them - but I am not having much luck. Hence I thought i would ask here.....


but you have to be careful what you read - eg info in USA is different than UK, and anything more than a year old is usually way out of date. Then a lot of the information is touted by people selling products so.. a bit suspect...

I did find this article on what happens to the plastic milk cartons.

It's interesting because i think a lot of people are ok with the plastic milk cartons as they are recycled.. but actually only 'up to' 40% goes to make new milk cartons the rest goes to make other plastic things- so part of the ongoing plastic problem.
Nicky Colour it green

We can collect milk from a self service milk shed, but it is 7 miles away.
You buy your refillable bottles first

yes they do that in towns near me, not a shed but in shops - but not near enough to make it viable for me unfortunately. Maybe it will come.
sean

Our butcher has a milk kiosk now. The farmer comes and ffills the tank up in the mornings. It's a quid a litre. You can buy glass bottles for a pound each to reuse or fill anytthing else you have that holds a litre I suppose. We've gone with buyiing the bottles because they're easy to clean.

We stopped getting a delivery when Boy Wonder took his porridge habit off to university.
Nicky Colour it green

Our butcher has a milk kiosk now. The farmer comes and ffills the tank up in the mornings. It's a quid a litre. You can buy glass bottles for a pound each to reuse or fill anytthing else you have that holds a litre I suppose. We've gone with buyiing the bottles because they're easy to clean.



it would be perfect for us - if it was in my village. I think I will suggest it to the shop that does other refills - maybe if I could round up enough willing customers for them it would be worth their while
Mistress Rose

It would certainly be useful to have one within easy distance here. I do know of one, but it is a bit out of my way. May try them when I start to deliver charcoal to them in the summer.

I notice that on a slightly different, but related note, that a small shop doing 'fill your own' has opened up a bit closer to us. Trouble is it is in the 1 bus and hour direction, not the 4 buses and hour. Need to try to investigate the shops in both directions if I can find the one at longer distance and it isn't too far from the bus, as doesn't seem much point in going by car as it negates the fuel savings.
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