Our small milk idea 🍼 could have a big impact 🚫

Posted on Nov 18, 2019 12:00:22 PM

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Dear Future Citizens
of a Better World


It’s a good feeling when you know you’ve cracked a waste problem. It’s an even better feeling when you know you’ve cracked a waste problem that could have bold ramifications for the hospitality industry.

We found a way to get milk without any packaging. No single use  down cycled plastic, no pouches, no annoying glass bottles that if not reused may be stockpiled at waste facilities… it’s a simple solution us humans invented in the 1850s that we left behind for more ‘innovative’ solutions. It won’t be a zero waste solution for all you household milk drinkers, but for our industry, adopting the old way, might just be our best waste solution to date.

The solution is called a milk churn. For those uninformed like we were, a churn is a machine for making butter, but it’s also a large vessel for storing milk. And when we did our research, we could only find one producer and one retailer, buying and selling milk successfully without packaging. A huge salute to Country Valley and Manly Food Co-op for figuring out the logistics to make it possible; and for setting the standard we’re going to encourage our industry to meet (where possible). You can see our churn in the .gif at the top, with our legend Head Chef Tim. 

"we're dreaming big - imagine we're the council with the most cafes ditching plastic from milk entirely"

But the best part of our story is how it comes full circle.

Dan the Man Milk ChurnThis is Ludmilla Ivanovic, co-founder of Iggy's Bread

As we’re not such big milk users, we couldn’t meet the minimum order for delivery. So we thought we’d find the closest café that buys Country Valley milk and see if we could add our order to theirs. Serendipitously, the closest cafe was our superhero green gurus - Iggy's Bread - who have been minimising waste well before it became cool.

Churn bought. Iggy’s said they’ll happily accept our delivery (obvs, they're all about community). Delicious 10L churn of ice cold milk one week later. Dan went bonkers and almost drunk the whole churn.

A month after our first order, I got a lovely, somewhat over excited and stunned phone call from the legendary Ludmilla, co-founder of Iggy’s.

“Dan the Man, where did you get your milk churn from?”

“We’ll send over the details… wait don’t you have milk churns?”

“No! We didn’t know it was possible, I just found out when I saw your churn being dropped off. We’ve been trying to do it for years.”

At that point it was my turn to go bonkers. I told Ludmilla the time has come. We’re joining forces and supporting all the cafes in Waverley to make the switch … and now I'm typing it, and sending it, so we take on the challenge… we're dreaming big - imagine we're the council with the most cafes ditching plastic from milk entirely.

If you'd like to know where we're at with our waste journey, as always, have a look at where we're up to here.


Topics: Zero Waste


About the DTM Blog

We love waste. Yes that's right. We believe that waste is a resource, and with a bit of creativity, it can be turned into something amazing. Whether it's turning fabric offcuts from a fashion design company into fabulous hankies for our grazing tables, or using carrot peels to make deliciously crunchy and salty beer snacks, we are committed to pushing our creative boundaries and finding new uses for resources that would otherwise be wasted. And we'll share all our findings with you here ;)

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