Milk in a bag – A journey to an earlier life

Milk in a bag – A journey to an earlier life

Posted on 19. May, 2010 by in drink me

I had a trip down memory lane recently to, what seemed looking back, a less cluttered life.

When I was a child we had a pantry, later in my childhood we got a fridge and then much later we got a freezer. At the time, they must have been seen by my parents as wonderful bits of essential kitchen equipment. I seem to remember my mother blanching seasonal vegetables, bagging and freezing them and cooking large quantities of home-made food to reheat at a later date.

I also remember the packaging…or lack of

Fresh cooked meat from the butcher, sliced while you waited, laid in greaseproof paper, folded carefully and placed in a paper bag. Usually given to a small boy (Me) who had given the butcher an order note wrapped around some coins.

Loose biscuits in large tins, lining the front of the counter at an angle, with a clear lid. With the opportunity to get a bag of ‘brokes’ for pennies.

Sweet shops with nothing packaged where you could get a quarter of this or a quarter of that and a drink where they refunded money when you took the bottle back. Or if you could afford one, a Tin Can of Coke Cola (you needed to carry a tin opener with you to drink it). The first non- essential package I remember.

And Milk only came in glass bottles. Well, unless you where my mother who found a shop selling French milk in a plastic bag. The excitement that brought to our house, I think mainly, as it was cheaper than Bottles and it came from France. We must have got that for several months in the sixties until it stopped.

All this was over 30years ago.

And then it seemed to all fell apart quite quickly, we got shrink wrapped packaging on everything, from fruit, cheese, cooked meats to fresh cuts of meat, If it can go in plastic … In it goes…. Fresh meat or a chicken sitting in a pool of blood, sweating away in plastic… very appealing and healthy

Sell buy dated food, best before dated food, eat before dated food, use by dated food …. I have even seen Salt with a best before date…. The bloody stuff is millions of years old before we get it, and it’s got to be used before next year. Really, incompetent I would say digging up the stuff that’s just going off after all those years.

Package meals… that can be frozen, that have to have enough preservatives and salt added, that would have kept my granny in condiments for several weeks.

The only thing I can think of that was a real boon to our household was Sliced Bread in a greaseproof bag. Then they put preservatives in it to make it last longer and stuck it in plastic.

So imagine my surprise when I found Milk in a plastic bag in Sainsbury’s … Dairy Crestthe suppliers say that a 2 pint milk bag produces 75% less packaging waste and landfill mass than a standard 2 pint plastic milk bottle.

So very well done to Dairy Crest and their stockists. But then….

They also claim that this is the Evolution of Milk Packaging going from the Carton to the Polybottle to the Milk Bag and Jug…. Evolution has nothing to do with it, what they have done is roll back the years and given it a modern twist, now if we can just take the four rashers of bacon or roast beef out of all the packaging and put it in a sensible bag then we will all benefit.

Finally, can somebody find me the can opener so I can enjoy this ‘Tin’ of Coke with my ‘brokes’?

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One Response to “Milk in a bag – A journey to an earlier life”

  1. BobZ

    22. Jun, 2010

    Milk bags are not recyclable. It’s a food soiled plastic bag. There is no way to reuse that material. Those go to landfills. Milk bags are the least environmentally friendly option you could choose unless you do not recycle anything even if it was recyclable.

    GP: Good point Bob, but compared to a 2lt plastic bottle they are better. An average time for a plastic bottle to biodegrade fully is approximately 450-1000 years. However, there are many different kinds of plastic in the world, most commonly the hard and reusable ones, which take a longer time, and the soft and non-reusable ones, which take a shorter time. Time also varies with the size of the bottle.

    Personally, I preferred those square waxed cardboard cartons which now have dissappeared completely from supermarkets in the UK… milk if delivered still seems to be in the best of all re-usable glass bottles

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