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Co-op keen on milk dispensers, Dairy isn’t

News | Published:

THE Co-op is open to the idea of installing milk dispensers in Guernsey.

Darren Quenault filling a bottle with milk at one of the two Co-op shops in Jersey to have them. (Picture by Jon Guegan, 26091849)

But Guernsey Dairy has ruled out the idea because of its cost implications.

Milk dispensers are in use in other Channel Islands. Two Co-op shops in Jersey have them, Alderney already has one and, due to its popularity, a second is planned.

Dispensers work by islanders using re-usable bottles to collect milk directly. These bottles can be washed and re-used, unlike the current polythene-lined cardboard cartons, which have to be shipped off-island to be recycled.

A Guernsey Dairy spokesman said it was a milk processing and wholesale distribution operation.

‘We have no facility for selling directly to the public, and our processing and packaging equipment is not designed for filling anything other than our current recyclable cartons,’ he said.

‘Any change would require significant investment, and therefore needs to be considered as part of a wider review. In the meantime we actively encourage recycling on all our packaging.’

However milk cartons are not necessarily easy to recycle, as they contain aluminium, plastic and paper, which needs to be separated out to be reused.

Guernsey’s waste strategy encourages islanders to focus their efforts on reducing their rubbish or re-using it, before turning to recycling.

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The local Co-op has had great success with its milk dispensers in Jersey and acting chief executive Mark Cox said they were open to looking at the idea in Guernsey.

‘We worked with Classic Herd in Jersey as they already had a milk dispenser on their farm in St Peter’s,’ he said. 'This was a joined-up approach between us and a local producer. We have not actively spoken to any local producers in Guernsey.

‘However, we would be more than happy to talk with Guernsey Dairy about the possibility of introducing a milk dispenser into selected stores. The two Classic Herd milk dispensers in Jersey have been met by lots of positive feedback since being introduced to Grand Marche St Helier earlier this year.’

The Co-op has been working hard to reduce the amount of plastic that is used in its stores. This summer the company started to sell some fruit and vegetables unwrapped in a bid to cut plastic waste and pledged that by 2023 all the items in their supply chain would be recyclable.

The amount of general rubbish generated by households has more than halved since the introduction of new waste collections a year ago. There have been predictions recycling rates could hit 65% in 2019.

Juliet Pouteaux

By Juliet Pouteaux
News reporter

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