A DAIRY processing company in the Moorlands is encouraging residents to opt for glass bottles instead of plastic when purchasing their milk. Wheat Brothers of Cheadle deliver to around 2,500 people in the Moorlands and Potteries area, with around 70 per cent of customers opting to receive their milk in a glass bottle rather than a plastic one. Company owner Michael Wheat wants to encourage more people to ditch the plastic and use glass instead.
“It’s much more efficient and 100 per cent recyclable,” he told the Times and Echo.
“It comes in, gets sterilised and washed then goes back out to the customer.
“I’d most definitely encourage people to use glass over plastic.
“One glass does hundreds of journeys whereas a plastic one does one.
“Glass is definitely the way forward, I’m one hundred per cent sure about that.”
Michael revealed that plastic is extortionately more costly to use, spending £1,000 a month on the material compared to £2,000 a year on the company’s glass bottles.
The business, which has been around for over 80 years, milks all the 160 cows on-site.
“It’s produced in Cheadle and the glasses come back to Cheadle, so it’s a local business,” Michael said.
“We milk around 160 cows at the dairy so we have zero air-miles, if you like.
“I’d encourage people to use glass bottles because it is economical and helps protect the environment.”
Michael’s wife, Aimee, told the Times and Echo: “Through the process it takes 24 to 48 hours from when the cows are milked to when the milk is delivered and we distribute 9,000 litres of milk a week.
“In the last six months we have seen a major decrease in people ordering plastic containers and an increase in glass orders.
“I think people have become more aware of the impact that plastic has on the environment whereas the glass bottles are fully recyclable, even down to the tops.
“When we get the glasses back we wash them in the bottle washer four times so they become sterilised and then we can use them again.”
Aimee went on to explain that despite all the changes in technology over the years, the process has still stayed the same.
She said: “Our glass washer, I think, is from the 1980s and still works as good now and the process equipment has remained the same since the 90s.
“Because of this, we are able to offer eight jobs which wouldn’t be the case if we had brought in machinery that did it all automatically.
“We have three people at the bottling plant and five drivers who are all Cheadle folk, so it really is a family and community based business.”
After being taken from the cow, the milk is transferred into a storage tank before going on to be pasteurised.
From there, it is separated into skimmed and semi-skimmed, apart from the business’ silver topped bottles that skip this stage as they are only pasteurised.
The milk then gets homogenised which entails the breaking down of fat in the milk so there is no cream line.
It is then transferred to a storage tank (or cream tank for the pasteurised-only milk) where from there it is filled into the bottles ready for delivery.
This process only takes between 24 to 48 hours.
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