Best in glass – can the return of the milkround help squash our plastic problem?

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Glass bottle deliveries have boomed in the past year as the British public rediscovers the joy of a fresh pint on the doorstep. We’ve got Blue Planet II to thank, says one Devon milkman

Just before dawn breaks, as a blackbird sings in the drizzle, I join third-generation milkman, Stuart Bruckner, 42, on the last leg of his Devon milkround. I have never met him before, but three times a week he delivers my four pints of red-top semi-skimmed under the cover of darkness in time for my breakfast. It gives me great joy to pop my empty glass bottles back on the doorstep to be used again. Since the recent increased public dismay about plastic pollution, more people have signed up to doorstep deliveries to get plastic-free milk. Milk deliveries around the country are up nearly 5% year on year in the UK. How is this sudden burst of interest affecting dairy businesses around the country?

“Business has gone crazy these last couple of weeks,” says Bruckner, who believes BBC’s Blue Planet II has helped spark the revival. “On average, nine new customers are signing up daily,” he adds. “Interestingly, it’s a younger demographic of customers calling up. More families and couples in their 30s and 40s are putting orders in specifically for milk in glass.”

Related: Michael Gove ‘haunted’ by plastic pollution seen in Blue Planet II

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