Milk dispenser

Recently our van trip has been milk free. Seems they don’t do milk in bottles in France. However they do do milk in machines. Check out this milk dispenser outside a huge supermarket chain. Thats us filling our water bottle with fresh, cool milk!

From stuff

A Golden Bay dairy family has imported an automatic milk dispenser and begun selling raw milk from their farm in Clifton.

Mark and Phillippa Houston supplied Fonterra from their farm in South Canterbury before downsizing and setting up in Tasman for the climate and the lifestyle. The idea for selling raw milk evolved in response to strong community interest and support.

“The motivation with the machine is that we didn’t want to stand there all day with the hose to fill up people’s bottles,” said Mr Houston.




My plastic boycott started because I didn’t like the impact plastic packaging had on the environment – as I learnt more, I began to worry about the impact it might be having on me.Plastic contains phthalates which are (possibly) carcinogenic and cause the feminization of male animals exposed to them. They are found in the stuff used to wrap meats and cheeses.

Bisphenol A is known to cause neurological and hormonal damage to lab animals. This is found in plastic food and drinks containers. There are indications that these chemicals can leach into the plastic wrapped products.

Two good reasons then to reject plastic wrapped products but it’s not easy and means going without all manner of foodstuffs. So while the sensible part of me, (the part that wanted my hormones undamaged), said stick with it, the greedy me was lusting after a piece of phthalate ridden cheese.

You will need to take your own packaging! Paper or biobags work best for cheese.


Hurrah then for Huddersfield Queensgate permanent market where I recently discovered stalls that sell loose cheese. It is not entirely plastic free – the large cheeses are packed in plastic and covered with Clingfilm but it is better than individually wrapped pieces – to my mind at least!

I take my own packaging and ask that it be used instead of the plastic bags provided. The market traders humour me and that’s another of the joys of shopping locally.

Same with the Polish Deli on Wood Street


I have done this is Tescos and other supermarkets. Again not entirely plastic free as the large block comes plastic wrapped.I take my own packaging and ask that it be used instead of the plastic bags provided.

Wholefoods in Cheltenham sell loose cheese but in their other stores it is wrapped.I take my own packaging and ask that it be used instead of the plastic bags provided.

Artisan Cheeses – almost always completely plastic free!!!!

Every so often you come across a cheese maker. Hurrah. Pricey but good!


If you live near Bideford, get yourself down to the farmers market held on the harbour on Saturdays. There is a cheese stall that sells proper home-made, unpackaged cheese. It’s good, really good! Remember to take your own bags….


Gemma, Darren & Ian can be found at Whitney Market selling their unwrapped and totally delicious cheeses. They also have a website 

Monkland Herefordshire

You can cheese from the working diary or go one step further and learn how to make it yourself! Here’s the website

Utracomida Aberystwyth restaurant and delicatessen

Located a stone’s throw from the sea on Pier Street – our Aberystwyth deli and restaurant offers a wonderful selection of artisan food and drink.And wonderful cheese. Here are the details


Yogurt & Yogurt makers

Yogurt comes in plastic pots  and I of course refuse to use one use disposables. So the pots have to go,but who can live without yogurt? Not us, so I had to learn how to make my own.

I had heard of how you could make it in a flask but I just ended up with curds and whey and an evil-smelling flask.

Then VB  remembered how they used to make it back in the village  of his birth. He ended up with curds and whey and evil-smelling blankets.

Yoghurt Makers

So I bought me an Easy Yo Yogurt maker – – really easy – just mix the contents of the sachet with water – yes that’s right – the plastic foil sachet that came in the plastic packed box. Didnt think it through. Not best pleased – it did make very good yogurt though. If only they sold the mix in a jar – or cardboard box. Ho hum back to the drawing board.

Finally got me an electric yogurt maker from Lakeland – mail order. The yogurt is made in a plastic container -BPA free for those of you worried about leaching chemicals. It works really well. So although it is a plastic product I feel it is worth it as it cuts our overall plastic consumption. It does make good yogurt and is very easy to use. If you are busy I would recommend getting one of these.


Trying Homemade Again Since then VB has re-learnt his yogurt making skills and now makes it in a pan which he leaves wrapped in a blanket overnight. Completely plastic free.

Reusing the Easy Yo And if you check the comments you will find out how to make yogurt using hot water and how to use the Easy Yo yogurt maker without purchasing more sachets.

Moving to Spain where they sell yogurt in glass jars. Only joking – would never buy yogurt in glass jars. Not good for the environment.


Milk & Milkmen

British consumers got through nine billion pints of milk last year. 90% of that milk was bought in a plastic container. That’s a lot of plastic trash only a percentage of which gets recycled. See some recycling stats here.
Glass milk bottles can be re-used up to 20 times. By my calculations that means that 1 bottle lasts 20 days that equals 18 bottles a year as oppose to 364 plastic bottles a year.So I got myself a milk man with real glass bottles.

Do you want one? Course you do!
Are they expensive? I pay £1.70 for 2 pints of organic semi skimmed delivered to my door.

This his website can  help  Find Me A Milkman does exactly what it says on the tin. Type in your postcode to find who is delivering in your area. N.B. Not all deliveries are in glass – you will have to check

Milk and More Dairycrest  also deliver nationally. However they were looking to phase out glass bottle and replace them with plastic. You can read more here

Local & Glass

These companies are smaller and usually local businesses. When last checked, the delivered milk in glass bottles – BUT DO DOUBLE CHECK

In The North


Darlington Acorn Dairy, do doorstep delivery in glass bottles. They deliver to Darlington,South Durham and the Dales/North Yorkshire.


Ian on 0795 829 0246 delivers.

This is thanks to the students of Landcaster who gave up plastic for Lent. May be out of date but worth a try.In case anyone is looking for a Lancaster Milkman, here is a useful list compiled by Emily! Milkmen in Lancaster (April 2009)
Raymond McDougall tel: 01524 36158 – covers Fairfield and the Marsh.
Hey & Sons tel: 01524 770343 – covers Primrose, Greaves, Scotforth, Piccadilly and Lancaster University.
Martin Edwards tel: 07739 486357 – covers Hala.
Colin Johnson tel: 01524 36222 – covers Aldcliffe, Ashton Road, Torrington Road.

Mc Queens Diaries  deliver to Headingly Leeds and perhaps other places too

Cream Online is a great doorstep delivery service that does milk in glass bottles. But also juice! And it delivers a veg box which when I asked they told was very much plastic reduced. I didn’t actually use the veg box service so you might want to double check.It also delivers all kinds of other essentials. Not plastic free stuff but not from a chain either. Rather it is a local, family run company.


Moofresh – loads of different milk in glass bottles. They deliver round Birmingham and Tamworth – you can find a full list of places here on their website

The Cotteswold Dairy serve:
Colony Bay
More info here 

Kirby & West

Family run dairy business delivering milk and other products to doorsteps around Leicester, Market Harborough and Lutterworth.



Parker Dairies is a small independant dairy situated in Walthamstow, supplying milk and other goods all over east london and the city.


£1 for 1L bottle £1 to fill it from a vending machine.

North Oxfordshire

North Aston Dairy

  • North Aston
    Upper Heyford
    Lower Heyford
    Steeple Aston
    Middle Aston
    Duns Tew

We deliver the milk late afternoon onto doorsteps in glass litre bottles. It is pasteurised but unhomogenized so has a lovely layer of cream on top. We also attend East Oxford farmers market every Saturday. Follow us on twitter @northastondairy Enquiries –

Ongar Dairy



Milk delivery across Epping Loughton and Chigwell. Our product range includes local and organic produce delivered by 7am


Essex Dairys @essexdairys Twitter Says YES they deliver in glass!

Milk, eggs, cheese, yogurts and much more delivered to offices, restaurants and homes across Essex and guaranteed by 7am!! Contact us at

Felsted, England

U.K. Wide

And this website can  help  Find Me A Milkman does exactly what it says on the tin. Type in your postcode to find who is delivering in your area.
N.B. Not all deliveries are in glass – you will have to check

Milk and More Dairycrest deliver nationally. keep the glass featuredDairycrest is a big company that deliver nationwide. However they were looking to phase out glass bottle and replace them with plastic. You can read more here 

Milk Dispensers

If you can’t find a local milk man why not petition your supermarket to set up a milk dispenser where you can refill your own bottles. 


Butter & Margerine

  1. Back in my more innocent days I used to think that butter wrapped in foil was plastic free. Till the day I didn’t have a butter dish to hand (!) and butter was served, as bought, in the wrapper. Over time the foil wrapping began to crack, crack but not break.  Strange I thought …  and closer investigation showed it was  not breaking up because it was foil  lined with plastic.You can find out more about plastic lined foil here

So began the search for paper wrapped butter.
This is what I have found. Salted butter is more likely to come wrapped in paper than unsalted. Why? I have no idea.
The greaseproof paper used to wrap the butter  may not be what it seems. Rather it could be plastic lined or  chemically treated rather than natural greaseproof paper. You can read about that here.

But taking all of the above into account, paper wrapped butter and margarine is the best we can do.

Buying Paper Wrapped Butter

More companies are switching to foil wrapped butter. Many that used to supply paper wrapped no longer do so. Consequently this info may be out of date. The Plastic Is Rubbish Facebook group is good for updates and latest info.

this is what we got…

The Cheese Stall in Queensgate, Huddersfield, (only salted)
Barbican in Chorlton Manchester, (only salted).
Sainsbury’s,  Huddersfield Town Centre do unsalted butter in paper but you can only find it on the cheese counter not in the self service aisles. The wrapper definitely has a paper component but is marked mixed materials which means it is probably plastic lined. See above notes.
MArks & Spencers sell some very expensive butter in paper.
Waitrose – Not personally confirmed.
Iceland – apparently still sell butter in paper – salted.

Many thanks to the Plastic Is Rubbish Facebook group for their input and updates


Sainsbury and the Co-op used to wrap their cheap, salted, butter in paper.  I have recently heard that they have stopped doing this.

Morrisons – I heard they used to sell some butter in paper. There are now reports that this has been discontinued.


I have found myself falling out with margarine – it is slithery, weird and synthetic so I only use it very occasionally. This information may well be out of date.
Sainsburys & Tescos do paper wrapped.


You can often use vegetable oil in place of margarine or butter. Cheaper than butter healthier than margarine.  It  isn’t  entirely plastic-free either but I do what I can


You can find out more about plastic lined paper and foil here

Go back to the oil index to find out about the plastic free oils and butters we use

And other sneaky plastics here….