Milk floats and glass bottles make a comeback in UK as shoppers shun plastic
For anyone who grew up in the 1980s or earlier, the gentle clinking of glass bottles and electric whirr of the milk-float were as familiar to the morning soundscape as the dawn chorus.
Yet by the 1990s major supermarkets had switched to cheap plastic bottles, buying in bulk to drive down prices, and leaving the milkie struggling for business.
However glass bottled milk is making a comeback. Buoyed by growing fears about the impact of plastic on the environment, milkmen are reporting an increase in interest for the traditional ‘pinta’.
Mark Woodman, 56, who runs Woodman’s Dairy in Rumney, Cardiff, has recently spent thousands refurbishing his old milk float to meet the new demand, which he puts down to recent pledges to tackle plastic waste by the government and industry.
“This week and last week we’ve been inundated with phone calls asking us if we deliver glass bottles,” he said.
“We’ve had 50 to 100 people call in this week, with 30 to 40 new customers off the internet looking to cut down on their use of plastic.
“It’s great for us. Anything that gives us a bit of business back from the supermarkets is really good for us.”
Earlier this month Theresa May, the Prime Minister, announced plans to scrap all avoidable plastic waste by 2042, in the government’s 25 year Environmental Place, which could also see an extra tax on one-use plastic items.