On the wave of the fight to cut down plastic waste, the sound of an electric motor and the clink of bottles in a crate are having a comeback with milkmen and milkwomen hopping back on their milk floats across the UK.
In the seventies, about 94% of milk in the UK was brought to the doorstep by a milkman. Since then these pinta deliveries have crashed, however, with the government’s war against single-use plastic and thanks to David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II, that raised awareness about plastic waste, dairies have experienced a strong upsurge, especially in London, where companies such as Parker Dairies are, again, enjoying growing popularity.
The companies say that there’s an increasing number of younger consumers and young families willing to pay more for the service when trying to help the environment; as, on average, a typical glass milk bottle is reused around twenty-five times.
However, modern milkman doesn’t deliver only milk. You can order daily essentials from bread, eggs and cheese, to cereal, yoghurt and savoury snacks with most of the sourdough and honey coming from local suppliers. Also, to meet the growing shift from dairy due to the concerns regarding environmental impact, Parker Dairies now also offers dairy alternatives such as oat or coconut milk. Such delivery service differs from most supermarkets as you don’t need a minimum order amount to order with a milkman, which is great especially for the elderly that may not need much food but at the same time can struggle to get to the shops.
Milkman has always been respected in society, and the milk delivery companies believe that the tradition of a milkman being part of the community is still relevant today. While for many a milkman is a delightful memory of childhood, the comeback of such delivery represents a greater shift to the renewed appreciation for local produce.