Milk delivered to the gate in glass is making a come back

Last updated 17:47 07/10/2017

Oaklands Milk with Milk and More are bringing back the glass milk bottle delivered to your home, and saving the planet at the same time.

Evening Post
Customers in Nelson are enjoying milk delivered to the gate in glass the old-fashioned way.
Bill Stansbury of Milk and More with some of the fresh Oaklands Milk product in glass bottles he delivers.
Marion van Dijk
Customers buying milk in glass in Nelson has diverted tonnes of plastic milk bottles away from landfill.

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The sound of the bottles clattering in the milk truck and milk delivered to letterboxes in glass used to be a thing of the past.

But one Nelson company has brought it all back helping to divert an estimated six tonnes of plastic bottles from landfill this year alone.

Milk producers Oaklands Milk and milkman Milk & More Nelson have been delivering glass bottled milk to businesses and homes around the top of the south since last April.

The glass bottles are able to be collected and re-used like the good old days.

Oaklands Milk farmer Julian Raine estimated he was selling 1800 litres of milk in glass a day. This included home and business deliveries in re-useable glass bottles and people buying direct from his vending machines.

He believed consumers buying his milk in glass had saved over half a million plastic bottles going into landfill just in 2017.

"I think it is a great achievement. We've done that from a standing start just over four years ago.

"We try to use sustainable products rather than throw it away kind of stuff - we hate that, so that's what's driven us to glass."

Oaklands Milk is only one of two milk suppliers in the country using glass bottles, the other being Happy Cow Milk Co (formerly Nature Matters Milk) in Canterbury.

Raine said the many cafes in the Nelson, Motueka, Richmond and Mapua were delivered milk in glass.

He put the growing popularity down to being environmentally friendly and "great" in coffee. 

Milk and More has been delivering milk for 20 years, has eight trucks on the road and 1500 customers using the service which includes various New Zealand milks in plastic bottles along with the glass bottled variety. 

It recently expanded its deliveries into Motueka, and already covers from north of Nelson to Wakefield south of Richmond, a distance of 50km.

Milk and More manager Bill Stansbury said while people were still cottoning on to the old school way of getting milk, he said "huge amounts" of people were "absolutely loving it".

Paying for the service could be done with tokens, cash or bank transfer.

"We can be old-fashioned and we can be modern.The milkman would be turning in his grave about that." 

A gradual change in milk acts over the years, including supermarkets being authorised to operate as milk vendors in 1987, led to a fast decline in the 90s of households being visited by the milkman.

But Stansbury said the trend of having a milkman was coming back.

"It feels really great to get something delivered to your door, like old fashioned style. That's why all old fashioned things are super popular still, because people love them."

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And it's not just the generation who remember the milkman who are reverting back to getting milk without leaving the house.

"You'd be surprised, there are a lot of young people who are also interested. I think that the younger people are more interested in the nutritional value of the milk."

Mrs Smith's Cafe and Vegetables owner Karyn Smith uses more than 100 bottles of milk in glass a week and said the milk had a "fantastic flavour". 

Happy Cow Milk Company founder Glen Herud said he started out nearly four years ago. 

Only using reusable bottles, including stainless steel cans popular in cafes and glass bottles, he said it was more expensive but "the right thing to do" for product quality and environmental sustainability. 

Herud said his product sold about 600 litres a day.

Based in Stoke, Nelson, Oaklands Milk is pasteurised but has nothing added to it and nothing taken away.

Oaklands Milk is available through a variety of means, including six vending machines throughout the region, delivery and stores. The sister brand, Aunt Jean's Dairy is available in Auckland, Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch. 

- Stuff


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