First Channel Island to introduce a milk vending machine

The UK’s Alderney the most Northerly Channel Island, located approximately 8 miles West of France is introducing a milk refill facility for Islanders in a bid to reduce plastic bottle waste.

Although only a small island measuring 3.5 miles by 1.5 miles Alderney is home to 2200 residents. This can rise to around 4000 during the peak holiday season.

Under a pilot scheme, Islanders both permanent and visiting will be able to fill reusable glass bottles with local milk from Kiln Farm, instead of buying it in plastic bottles.

The machine is expected to be installed in the next six weeks. If successful, further machines maybe rolled out across Alderney, Jersey and Guernsey.

Time to ‘Moooove’ away from plastic bottles

Currently, 40% of Alderneys plastic waste that is exported to Guernsey for recycling is made of plastic milk bottles. Using refillable glass bottles will dramatically reduce this figure and ultimately aid in the overall plastic waste issue that is affecting us all.

Many islands suffer from washed up plastic waste from other countries and Alderney is no stranger to ‘beached, foreign waste’. While the Islanders cannot prevent this, they can start reducing their own plastic bottle waste by using the new refill station.

Claire Thorp, Head of Outreach at Alderney Wildlife Trust said, “Refill schemes are always the best option for waste reduction, as they eliminate waste rather than relying both on people recycling properly and then on the UK recycling system which is over-stretched at best.

The milk vending machine will also enable people wanting to reduce their home waste to support a local business, bringing their glass bottle or container to be filled at the Farm Shop.”

Would you use a milk refill facility if there was one in your region?