By Elly Roberts, Facebook Community Reporter

Consumers in Swindon are returning to old methods as farmers and businesses report a rise in demand for milk in glass bottles.

Dora’s Dairy in Purton started selling raw milk in 2017, supplying 150 glass bottles at first. This figure trebled in the first six months and now the farm has just over 1,000 glass bottles in circulation – with demand still growing.

“There has been a huge increase in the level of glass required, because people want to be able to reuse rather than have the single-use plastics,” said Sarah Cook, who runs the dairy with her husband Jon at Quarry Farm.

“We get requests every day for glass bottles. Most people start straight away on glass, because they find us because we’re selling our product in glass. Every bottle has the name of a customer, who is responsible for cleaning and returning it to the dairy to be refilled when needed.

“The individual bottles last until they break," said Sarah. "Our very first customer still has her glass bottles and she’s been with us two years.”

The farmer sees it as a long-term trend and attributes the public’s increased awareness as stemming from the BBC’s Blue Planet.

Sarah said: “People started to realise the tragedy that is single use plastics.

“And the fact that they send it off in their recycling and imagine that it’s being recycled, and then it’s ending up on a beautiful beach somewhere. It’s a tragedy.

“I think people are realising that they have to take responsibility for what they use every day."

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“Single–use plastics have their place but until we can find a reusable source to reuse those plastics properly, then we need to consider using glass and using the reusable aspects of glass,” said Sarah.

Newly created delivery company, ‘Planted, at your door’ completed its first week of glass bottled deliveries last week. The plant-based milk company was set up on the back of the growing demand for glass in Swindon and the surrounding area.

“It always annoyed me how you can’t get plant milk in a fully recyclable or degradable packaging,” Lewis added.

“Global warming is not going away. I’m hoping this sort of thing catches on more and more as people become more responsible for what we do for the planet,” he said.

Larger companies operating in Swindon have also seen a similar picture.

Milk & More delivery man for Gorsehill, Pinehurst and Moredon, Gary Powell, said he had seen a big backlash against plastics.

“90 per cent of the pints I deliver are in glass these days,” said Gary. “The demand has definitely picked up for it over the last five years.

“People are definitely going more for glass bottle deliveries rather than them having to carry it from the shops.

“It’s more convenient for them and it’s there for 7am in the morning for breakfast,” Gary added.

After the BBC’s War on Plastic documentary aired in June earlier this year, Milk & More reported a 12 per cent increase of online customers in the Swindon area.

Andrew Kendall, Deputy CEO for Milk & More, said: “We saw 20,000 new customers register in one month alone, representing the biggest growth in sign-ups the company has ever seen in a single month.

“Of these new customers, 90 per cent are having their milk delivered in glass bottles which are reused on average 25 times.

“More people than ever before are looking to make changes to their lifestyles to live more sustainably, and it’s great that we can help our customers achieve this goal. We are transforming the great British milkman into a modern, convenient delivery which has a sustainable, environmental proposition at its heart.”

Originally published in the Swindon Advertiser

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