War on waste continues

OLD SCHOOL: Danielle Tonna of Tonna's Fruit and Vegetables in Daylesford with the current Schulz Organic Dairy milk bottle. Photo: Lachlan Bence
OLD SCHOOL: Danielle Tonna of Tonna's Fruit and Vegetables in Daylesford with the current Schulz Organic Dairy milk bottle. Photo: Lachlan Bence

The war on single use plastics continues, with one Victorian dairy producer, Schulz Organic Dairy, vowing to reduce single-use plastic milk bottles if their suppliers supported them. 

Schulz Organic Dairy asked its retailer network if it would support the return of the old-fashioned, re-usable glass milk bottle, which could reduce the number of plastic bottles going to landfill by an estimated 500,000 per year.

The company estimated an equivalent of two billion one litre single-use plastic bottles of milk were used and discarded in Australia each year and as milk producers, they decided they no longer wanted to contribute to the problem.

It has been trialling its one litre milk sales in returnable, refillable glass bottles at farmers markets around the state, with an overwhelming response, so it decided to make the idea more widely available by getting its suppliers involved.

To bring the idea to life, the company started a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to make modifications to its bottling line so it can take glass as opposed to plastic, purchase a commercial bottle washer, design a custom bottle to withstand re-use and cover the costs of producing and digitally marketing the glass bottles.

The idea has taken off, with almost $80,000 raised by 877 supporters, exceeding the stretch target of $75.000, which the company, located in Timboon, estimated will be able to purchase the equipment to produce 3000 glass bottles of milk a week, saving six tonnes of plastic waste each year. 

And residents in Hepburn Shire could soon be able to take part, with Tonna’s Fruit and Vegetables and the Harvest Cafe in Daylesford, who already stock the company’s products, agreeing to support the initiative. 

In agreeing to support the initiative, the businesses have agreed to train their staff, assist customers with questions and store the returned bottles between delivery visits from the Schulz Organic Dairy van.

The crowdfunding campaign finishes this Friday, August 31. To read more, visit https://www.pozible.com/project/schulz-milk-in-glass