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Going with the flow – bottled milk makes a comeback

Flagstaff Team

Glass half full… bottled milk has returned to Devonport at the Cheltenham Milk bar with the help of Sue Story.

Milk in glass bottles has returned to Devonport after a push from local ‘greenie’ Sue Story.

Northland-based Bella Vacca bottles its milk in glass and encourages customers to return the empty bottle and receive a full one for $4.50 – half the usual price.

Story first learnt about the system from a grocer in Northcote who stocks the milk.

“My brother bought me a bottle and I thought it was great,” she says.

“I’ve gone up once since to get some but it’s too out of the way. I thought it would be great if we could get it in Devonport.”

Story avoids plastic in her house wherever she can: composting, using bees-wax wrap instead of plastic wrap, and making her own mouthwash.

“Plastic is drowning the world and it’s like what can one person do?” she says.

“Well, I’ve discovered that you can do something – getting rid of all those plastic milk bottles.”

Story took to Facebook to gauge interest from the community and was quickly overwhelmed with interest.

She got in contact with a representative from Bella Vacca, who decided it was a good idea to come and talk to Devonport businesses.

Arron Barnett from Cheltenham Milk Bar had been looking into selling bottled milk for a while, and decided that this was the perfect opportunity.

Green message in a bottle… Sue Story and Arron Barnett at Cheltenham Milk Bar

He started stocking the bottled milk immediately and sold out of his first and second shipments within the same day.

Barnett has had to order double the original amount of milk to keep up with demand, and is now selling out of around 56 bottles every two days.

“Locals are really excited about it. When it’s not here they say, ‘bring it in, bring it in,’” says Barnett.

“I’m quite chuffed about it,” says Story. “I just hope it doesn’t get so popular that I can’t get any.”

This article originally appeared in the May 31 edition of The Devonport Flagstaff. Download PDF.