Milk & More has partnered with reusable packaging startup business Again to ensure up to three million items of packaging – that would otherwise have been used just once – can be reused.
The partnership will see the Müller-owned doorstep delivery service collect the items direct from customers’ homes as part of its commitment to make it “easier and more convenient” to make sustainable packaging choices.
It extends Milk & More’s already extensive zero waste packaging offering, which currently accounts for 80% of everything it sells. Customers will simply need to rinse the packaging – as they already do with their Milk & More glass milk bottles – before leaving it on their doorstep for their milkman or woman to collect.
Again then cleans the packaging and sells it back to brands to be refilled and reused – just as Milk & More does with its one-pint glass milk bottles, which are reused on average 28 times.
With the ban on many single-use plastics used by shops and restaurants due to come into force in October, the new scheme was described as “perfectly timed to meet the growing needs of consumers looking for ways to reduce consumption of plastic packaging and its negative impact on the environment”, Milk & More said.
It comes as a project last year by Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic found that UK households binned almost 100 billion pieces of plastic every year.
“We’re really excited to be bringing this new partnership to our customers’ doorsteps,” said Milk & More CEO Patrick Müller.
“As a leading retailer in refillables and zero waste packaging, we know our customers want to be more sustainable, but they are busy people and need easy ways to help them do this. This is exactly what our partnership with Again offers them,” he added.
“It’s easy, simple, convenient and sustainable, which is everything Milk & More stands for and what milkmen and women have been doing for over 130 years.”
Milk & More said the new partnership would also help support the brands Milk & More sells to improve their sustainability commitments. It is currently trialling the scheme with the Tom Parker Creamery and The Village Press product ranges, rolling out nationwide, later this year.
“The Loop refill scheme, for example, was an excellent idea but relied on consumers returning items to a store, which simply didn’t happen and ultimately led to the scheme’s downfall,” Müller pointed out.
“However, Milk & More has one of the largest electric delivery fleets in the country, making nearly a million deliveries to homes across the country each week. We have the proven logistic capabilities to extend our model much further so that we can do even more to help other brands and our customers to be as sustainable as possible.”
Refillable products were one of “the most effective ways we can all reduce waste and our carbon footprint”, he added. “Refills feature fewer packaging materials, which means a smaller carbon footprint and eliminate any pointless plastic, which can be accumulated when you buy a product regularly.”
The partnership with Again follows Milk & More’s launch in late 2022 of the ‘Good Club at Milk & More’, which provides groceries to consumers in reusable pots and has to date sold nearly 40,000 zero-waste items. The service also offers a range of refillable environmentally friendly household products, including washing-up liquid and shampoo in refillable bottles. In 2022, it sold over 130,000 units.