A regional food store is doing its bit to cut down on plastic waste just yards from a plant where millions of plastic bottles are blown and filled every year.

Pyne’s of Somerset is now selling draught milk in reusable glass bottles and, says the boss, butcher Malcolm Pyne, after only a few weeks the idea is already catching on with his regular customers and visitors alike.

Once they have bought their bottle shoppers can fill it at a self-service unit with milk produced by farmer John Cottrell at Gundenham Farm, near Milverton, – then bring it back whenever it needs refilling.

The concept has already been rolled out to a number of shops in Somerset and Devon. John said: “We’re getting more enquiries all the time. People like the idea that they are taking home milk in a proper bottle and helping to cut down waste into the bargain.”

Pyne’s, in North Petherton, near Bridgwater, stands almost in the shadow of the giant Muller Wiseman plant which supplies 500 million plastic-bottled litres of milk a year to homes in the south west, Wales and Midlands.

But Malcolm Pyne said demand for milk on draught was already so strong there were plans to install a second dispenser for unpasteurised, or raw milk.

“People are particularly impressed with the quality of John’s milk, as they are with the fact that it only has to travel 20 miles from the cow to get here,” he said.

“It’s actually cheaper for them to buy milk this way once they have made the initial investment in the bottle and so much is being talked and written about the problems of plastic waste these days that they feel really good about being able to make a contribution, even a very small one, to reducing the amount of plastic waste this country generates.”