Milkmen on the rise in London as Sir David Attenborough’s ‘Blue Planet II’ leads charge to reduce plastic waste

Photo: Parker Dairies

According to the BBC and reported by the Evening Standard, milkmen are returning to London as millennials are ordering glass milk bottles in a bid to reduce plastic waste. The catalyst for the surge in millennials using glass bottles is being attributed, in part, to David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II.

What was considered, until recently, a dying breed, milkmen and milkwomen are making a comeback in London as millennials have started using glass milk bottles in a bid to cut down plastic waste. Both UK-wide company, Milk & More, and east London dairy Parker Dairies have seen increased demand for glass bottles with younger consumers and families willing to pay more for the service in a bid to help the environment.

Milk & More has gained more than 2,500 customers since the beginning of the year of the calendar year, – the equivalent of five new milk rounds, showing a resurgence in glass doorstep deliveries in the UK. Some 90 per cent of these customers across the country are ordering in the iconic glass bottles.

East London dairy, Parker Dairies, which has a fleet of 25 electric milk floats covering all of east London, the city and the West End, has gained 382 new customers since the beginning of the year. Of these new calls, 95 per cent are having milk delivered in glass bottles. Depot manager of Parker Dairies Paul Lough said interest of late in glass bottles has been “absolutely phenomenal”. “People are much more environmentally conscious and so they are asking if we do glass,” he said.

Photo: Milk & More

Milkman Ian Beardwell has been doing the same round in Wimbledon for Hanworth Dairy for 27 years. He said: “Since Blue Planet, that has been the catalyst of the revival in glass. I used to do 550 calls before and in four weeks I’ve gained another 35 to 40 calls – 90 per cent glass.”

Ian Beardwell has done the same round for Hanworth Dairy for 27 years. Photo: Milk & More

Industry body Dairy UK said figures showed doorstep deliveries make up 3 per cent of milk sales in the UK – around 1 million pints per day – and glass milk bottles make up 3 per cent of all milk sales. Who said television can’t have a positive influence on real life!


In: Odds & Sods