Plastic vs Glass

Riverford Organic Dairy are passionate about creating delicious high-quality artisan products for our customers, which comes from sustainable farming methods and recyclable packaging. We regularly review our packaging and take feedback from our customers seriously so that we can meet the needs of all our stake holders.

Consumer demand:
There are many elements that impact the success of great products including: price, packaging, shelf life and availability. Consumer demand has pushed many products including milk, to a minimal profit margin. These market forces have made the door-to-door milk man and many small dairy farms close as they are unable to compete with supermarkets low homogenised milk prices.

Plastic vs Glass – a quick summary:
Plastic packaging fills our shelves because the material is cost effective, easy to make, can be made into any shape or size, easy to transport and durable. Most plastic is reusable and recyclable however a large percentage end's up in landfill. A disadvantage of plastic is that it is considered it can only be “downcycled”, meaning it becomes an item of lesser quality.
Glass is made of all-natural resources and doesn’t lose its quality or purity, no matter how many times it’s recycled. However, glass breaks easier than other materials and when broken it makes it difficult to recycle. In addition, glass produces 6 times more greenhouse gases than plastic does during the manufacturing process!

Why do Riverford Dairy continue to use plastic containers?
If Riverford Dairy transferred to glass bottles, the Dairy would have to increase product prices due to the investment in machinery, manpower, sterilization and implementing a process for collecting empty bottles.
Our plastic bottles contain 15% recycled high-density polyethylene - one of the most recyclable plastics. Our bottles, tubs, caps, labels and label backing paper are all fully recyclable.
Every year we review our product packaging and take into consideration: food safety, shelf-life and security. We are currently looking at compostable pots, but in order to prevent leakage or rapid degradation, it requires plastic coated film (non-recyclable) or a bag inside the cardboard packaging to be able to hold liquid products.

What are Riverford Organic Dairy doing to improve our footprint in the community?
We currently have a small milk vending machine in Broadhempston Community Shop where you can take your own bottle and fill or re-fill and pay at the counter. You can also buy your own glass bottle at the community shop! (Please note: You are responsible for washing/sterilizing your bottle)
We are also looking at 50 litre milk vending machines to be placed in your favourite stores! However, before we invest in this product, we need to be sure our customers will use this quantity of milk from a vending machine. Therefore, we are using the smaller vending machines as a trial product.
We are considering a similar machine for delivering yogurt; this will not replace packaging dilemmas completely as some customers will still need the choice to buy their product off-the-shelf.

Riverford Dairy are excited to share some of our ideas for the future and would like your thoughts. Contact us via the contact page on our website or message us via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Find out how you can recycle your plastic bottle by clicking on the link below: