Sadly, some of the hardest things to get without plastic are also the hardest things to let go of. Take dairy for instance. Cheese, milk, cream, yoghurt, butter — these are the best! Not to mention a great source of nutrition. But now we’ve had to consider the cost of these luxuries and perhaps not enjoy them every day. But never fear, we found some options!
- Milk can be purchased in a glass bottle, and even refilled in one Melbourne location that I’m aware of — La Latteria. Bottles are $3.50/L, but bring back the bottle and it is only $2/L!
- Yoghurt can also be purchased in glass here, or even bring your own container for them to set it in.
- We got half a wheel of cheddar cheese from a supermarket deli. It’s a lot, but freezes fine when grated. At $35/kg it’s not quite as cheap as the $13/kg value blocks of tasty cheese we have been accustomed to.
- Butter can be bought in blocks, but the blocks sold by reasonable brands seem to be wrapped in plastic-coated foil. Only the supermarket-branded butter was wrapped in paper.
Since focusing more on this it’s been interesting (and confusing) to note how much packaging is not recyclable. It seems things made with mixed materials are not (easily?) recyclable, for instance plastic-coated foil (if you can’t easily tear it, it’s plastic-coated). But what about milk cartons? These are made with paper fibres, polymers and aluminium, and according to Tetra Pak they can be recycled. Unfortunately, they state that only 20% of them actually are1. This has forced us to consider choices we would normally make based on other ideals: instead of buying biodynamic, organic or from an ethical brand, we instead purchased butter from a supermarket brand (which is a bad idea).
So now La Latteria is my new favourite dairy. They are located on Elgin St, Carlton and are best known for their gourmet cheese made onsite. But as they source most of their dairy from
Donnybrook (less than 50km away) (update: from farms in Gippsland; and processed in Donnybrook) these guys are doing a great job not only providing local produce with low food miles, but making it available in re-usable packaging!