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Schulz Organic Dairy ditch glass and plastic to keg it instead

Words by Richard Cornish
Images Supplied

Western district organic dairy farmer Simon Schultz from Schulz Organic Dairy had kept a promise he made almost a decade ago to ditch glass and plastic and sell his milk to food service in reusable kegs. “When Joost Bakker had zero waste café Silo in the city he asked me to work out a way to get rid of the packaging around milk,” says Simon. 

He has teamed up with Tasmanian entrepreneur Edward Crick of The Udder Way who has developed a milk keg system to work in with retailers and food service. The 18-litre kegs are lined with low-density polyethylene and Simon’s team fills the kegs with milk and delivers them to the store or café. They are the same size as a plastic milk crate so they will go in an existing fridge space.

The kegs are connected to a dispensing system that uses compressed air to push the milk out of the kegs and into taps. At Leaf Store in Elwood, the system is up and running. Retail customers bring in their clean milk bottles and fill them with fresh Schultz milk. When the kegs are empty Schultz delivery drivers backload them to the dairy near Timboon where they are washed, sterilised and used again and again. Edward says they have at least an eight-year life span.

The idea came out of frustration that over 500 million single-use plastic milk bottles are used every year and less than half are recycled.

“We have partnered with Schulz Organic Dairy because we share a similar vision and mission. Each of our Kegs eliminates the need for 7,000 single-use plastic bottles.

In Victoria, Schulz Organic Dairy will be the initial milk supplier to food services and retailers using The Udder Way Keg system. Participating businesses include The Leaf Stores in Hawthorn and Elwood, Into Coffee and CIBI in Collingwood and Rat the Café in Thornbury. Victoria is a latecomer using the Udder Way keg, with a dairy in Tasmania, two in New South Wales and four in New Zealand all using the system.


What: Re-usable milk kegs Schulz Organic Dairy
Where: Leaf Store, Hawthorn and Elwood; Into Coffee and CIBI, Collingwood; Rat the Café, Thornbury
When: Now

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