Schulz Organic Dairy: Moving Back to Reusable Glass Milk Bottles

Schulz Organic Dairy has been involved in organic farming since 1972. Across three generations of farmers, they have produced milk from a single herd of healthy Friesian and Jersey cows. Their products include milk, yogurt, cream and quark and are produced in Timboon, Victoria. In December 2018, Schulz Organic Dairy was awarded almost $50,000 under Round 3 of the Victorian Government’s Resource Recovery Infrastructure Fund to buy a new bottle washing facility. Along with crowdfunding, this enabled the replacement of 50% of its plastic bottle packaging with returnable, reusable glass bottles. The business can now feed 5,000 bottles per week into the system. This will eliminate up to 10 tonnes of plastic from the recycling system.  

Owner Simon Schulz said “Up until now, our approach to sustainable farming has been focused on our practises ‘on-farm’. We’ve been bio-dynamic and now (certified) organic for 46 years (since day one) and we’ve implemented a whole range of ecological and energy efficient measures throughout this time. Now the time has come for us to tackle the issue of single use plastics in our industry. Plastic waste is a major issue for the environment and we want to be leaders in a new (actually old) way of packaging dairy. We believe all producers have a responsibility to look at their practices and work to leave the smallest possible footprint, and our biggest product is where we will start.”

The returnable and refillable glass bottles were piloted at farmers markets and are rolling out to retailers during 2019.

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