Friday, 16 April 2010

Milky Issues

Got milk?
We buy ours from the supermarket and have done since we moved to our new place. Back in the day, I used to work for Sainsburys. This was before ethical eating, food miles and Waitrose really took off. While I was there (I think), they brought out a new and revolutionary product. The milk pouch. The idea being that you buy a special jug and plonk a milk bag into it instead of buying plastic bottles of milk, which will reduce the plastic needed for packaging and in turn, reduce the energy required in the production process. Nice and green! Well, white. I was skeptical because it seemed like a faff. Also, milk in a bag? A bit weird, in my opinion. In fact, I thought they'd scrapped the idea years ago until the Boy and I spotted them during our weekly supermarket trawl. Shows what I know, eh? Coincidentally, I stumbled upon this article not days after. Apparently Waitrose have trialled a similar system which went down like, well, a out of date pint of the white stuff. Meanwhile, Sainsburys milk pouch system is flourishing with sales, apparently, increasing by over 100,000 a week making up one in ten two-pint purchases.
Now, we actually um-ed and ah-ed about getting one of these; both the Boy and I are relatively enviro-conscious and living in a flat, we don't have a huge amount of space to store waste so it would be potentially win-win. Trouble is, I think we can go even further. Reusing bottles before - eventually - recycling them seems like a much better way to go, in my mind. While I was growing up, my parents employed the services of a milkman (no inuendo, please) but gave up when we started to get off-milk and slightly fermenting orange juice. Not good. I'm now starting to reconsider because, as well as wanting to be green, I'd like to support the local smaller businesses and producers. Ideally, I'd like to buy milk straight from the dairy - more feasible for me than for many as I live out in the sticks. Now I'm starting to wonder if I should consider our local milk man who apparently delivers West Country milk and even organic fruit and veg boxes! Might have to consider this one.

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