Admittedly, the days of the milk man visiting, clanging glass bottles were well before my time. That being said, there’s something so wholesome and quaint about freshly delivered milk and bread in the morning.
For those of a similar vintage to myself, here’s what would happen- the night prior to your milk delivery you’d leave your glass bottles outside your door. The next morning, a cutesy van would rock up and a beaming milkman would switch out your used bottles for fresh bottles with fresh milk. Cuter than a Coles run, that’s for sure.
The milkman may soon haul himself out of those old timey photos and into the present day, making a comeback thanks to our increased focus on reducing plastic waste.
Dairy company Synlait (ASX: SM1) has launched their first consumer product under their own brand. The concept, called Synlait Swappa Bottle, is drink, return, repeat. Consumers drink fresh milk, return the 1.5L stainless steel bottle and repeat, reducing waste and eliminating plastic packaging.
Every year in Australia 30,000 tonnes of milk bottles end up in landfill alongside 50,000 tonnes of soft drink bottles and more than 10,000 tonnes of detergent and shampoo bottles.
New Zealanders throw away 1.76 billion plastic containers per year.
Both individuals and companies must work to reduce these figures as we face serious environmental consequences of plastic waste.
Synlait’s Swappa Bottle carries the B-Corp stamp in line with their certification and commitment to “using business as a force for good.”
Whilst not direct to your door just yet, the Swappa Bottle initiative is being launched in New Zealand stores, with plans to widen distribution over time.
Since their acquisition of Dairyworks in 2019 Synlait has indicated their intention to launch direct to consumer products. The Swappa Bottle will contain homogenised milk exclusively sourced from Synlait’s high performing farms who uphold the Company’s values and commitment to caring for the land and animals.
Director of Sustainability and Brand, Hamish Reid commented on the new product, saying: “In the things that we choose to eat and drink, we support the future we want to see. New Zealanders have been telling us for years that they are deeply concerned about plastic waste, but in milk, there haven’t been many options. Synlait Swappa Bottle is a step in the journey towards eliminating plastic waste. Each time we drink, return, repeat, we contribute to a better future.
“There’s an opportunity for reusables to play a much bigger role in New Zealanders’ food and beverage future, as they are already in Europe and the USA. In launching Synlait Swappa Bottle- a refillable, stainless-steel bottle that can be reused time and time again- we’re hoping to trigger change.”
Maybe the milkman will make a resurgence after all.
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