Sheffield Co-op becomes 'first' major UK supermarket to offer milk in glass bottles

A supermarket in Sheffield has begun selling milk in glass bottles, in what is thought to be a first for the UK.

Tuesday, 9th July 2019, 1:47 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th July 2019, 4:18 pm

The Co-op on Ecclesall Road began stocking glass pint bottles yesterday, from Our Cow Molly’s farm just four miles away, in response to demand from customers.

Store manager Pete Cooper and Our Cow Molly director Eddie Andrew both say they believe the branch is the first of any in the country run by the big supermarket chains to offer milk in glass bottles.

The glass bottles, which at 90p each cost the same as Our Cow Molly milk in plastic containers being sold at the store, can be returned by customers to the shop to be collected and reused by the dairy.

Store manager Pete Cooper and Our Cow Molly's Eddie Andrew outside the Ecclesall Road Co-op, which has begun stocking milk in glass bottles

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Mr Cooper said the glass bottles, introduced in response to the war on plastic waste which is damaging our oceans, were already proving a big hit both in-store and on social media.

Of the 30 bottles delivered on Monday afternoon, he said just two remained this morning, and the store is already planning to increase its order to meet demand.

Mr Cooper said: “We’re the first Co-op in the country to sell milk in glass bottles and we believe we’re the first supermarket in the country to do so.

Our Cow Molly makes its first delivery of milk in glass bottles to the Ecclesall Road Co-op in Sheffield

“We’ve stocked Our Cow Molly for a while now and when Edward suggested selling it in glass bottles we thought that fits in with Co-op’s ethos as an environmentally friendly company keen to do what it can to reduce plastic waste.

“It's proving a hit straight away and the response shows just how close the issue is to people’s hearts. It’s also great to be supporting a local farm which is only a few miles away.

“The milk we got yesterday afternoon was still being collected from the cows that morning, and you can’t get much fresher than that.”

The Star reported last month how Select Convenience in Bents Green was selling more than 120 glass pint bottles of milk a week, also supplied by Our Cow Molly, after a trial which began there last year proved a big success.

The manager of that store, where customers get a discount on their next pint when returning their used bottles, told at the time how other shops in the city were planning to follow suit.

Mr Andrew, from Our Cow Molly, revealed he had approached Co-op after being asked by a customer at the store why it didn’t stock glass milk bottles.

“We’re really proud we’ve been able to get it on the shelves there and help reduce plastic waste. It’s great that Co-op has become the first major supermarket in the UK to listen to environmentally conscious consumers asking for milk in glass bottles, and to give them what they want,” he said.

The Crookes Co-op has already said it is in talks about following the lead of the Ecclesall Road branch by stocking glass milk bottles.

Research by the University of Sheffield recently suggested a glass bottle would have to be used at least 13 times before becoming better for the environment than a plastic one.

Mr Andrew said this was easily the case with the bottles it delivers, some of which he claimed had been in circulation for 20 years.