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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 February 2007, 18:49 GMT
Dairies' degradable 'milk bags'
Milk bag
The empty milk bag can be squashed to reduce waste volume
Two north Wales dairies have begun selling milk in environment-friendly bags as an alternative to traditional bottles and cartons.

South Caernarfon Creameries, in Pwllheli, and Tomlinson's Dairies in Wrexham, have both started selling milk in the new pouch-style packaging.

The bags are 100% degradable and it is hoped they will revive the declining service of doorstep deliveries.

In Canada, 65% of all fresh milk is already sold in bags.

South Caernarfon Creameries will be selling two pint "milk bags" in whole or semi-skimmed varieties, initially through milkmen in the Pwllheli area.

They can be stored in the fridge and customers opting for the new packaging will receive a doorstep storage tray and milk jug to hold the bags.

To use, you snip the corner and pour. The empty bag is then thrown away with the normal waste but degrades within nine months.

Milkman delivers new milk bags
Doorstep milk sales have declined in the last decade

Project manager Alwen Eidda said: "We think it is the way forward. With so much recycling and landfills blocking up, we wanted to do some fresh thinking. "These bags are ideal as they are degradable and reduce the volume of waste."

The dairy has also received interest from local schools for their individual third-of-a-pint bag which is used with a straw.

A primary school trial of mini-milk pouches has already been carried out by the Minera-based Tomlinson's Dairy, which said feedback had been positive.

Philip Tomlinson, who runs the dairy with brother John, said: "It's quite a fun thing to use. They can hold it in their hands and play around with it. So it's very good for kids."

As well as supplying schools, the business plans to sell large one litre "eco-pouches" through shops and may extend the bagged milk to their doorstep delivery service.

Mr Tomlinson said: "It is not replacing what we already use, we class it as an alternative to the plastic cartons and glass bottles."

The dairy said the new packaging resulted in a 90% reduction in landfill volume.

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