Zero Waste Frustrations

Currently it feels like I’m being thwarted at every turn! I had a list of things I wanted to change, after finishing reading Bea Johnson’s book- Zero Waste Home. First on the list was to switch to milk in glass bottles, as we currently get through 2x 4 pint bottles a week on average and milk bottles make up a significant part of our waste.

I discovered that we would be able to get a milkman to deliver these. I looked into it all, decided we would pay the extra to have Organic milk delivered and was all set to make the change. For some reason, I decided to do a quick internet search on the subject and the first thing that came up- was that this supplier is shutting down its bottling plant due to lack of demand. Now I’m not surprised, unless you’re a zero waster, or just simply prefer the taste of milk from a glass bottle or non-homogenised milk, with the cream on top- then you’re unlikely to be buying milk the old-fashioned way! Customer comments revealed a dissatisfaction with this move, but some customers had already been switched and everyone would be within 2 years.

It seems like a waste of time¬†making the change, if it is not sustainable- although potentially it could make a limited impact over the short-term (if our area hasn’t already been switched). I will, of course, write to the supplier explaining my predicament and encouraging them to change their plans. But they cite less than 4% of customer opting to buy their milk in glass bottles as unsustainable, who frankly can blame them? There do seem to be other suppliers that may supply milk in glass bottles direct to supermarkets, but I can’t locate that product anywhere locally. There aren’t any private dairies either, supplying milk in glass bottles.

OK, maybe I can’t make that change. But I was all set to buy loose tea instead of tea bags. But guess what, they all seem to come in plasticised foil packets, or cardboard boxes with plastic foil inside- doubly wasteful! Is the change worth it? Tea bags come in a cardboard box only (at least for the brand I buy), this seems better than opting into plastic products.

Now I know Bea says that this will take time, but it seems like our choices in the UK are much more limited than in the USA. I think that possibly the health and hygiene rules are much stricter and they will claim that the extra packaging protects us from health risks.

If anyone can help me out with sustainable options, please get in touch!