Your morning flat white could be made using a milk keg.
Cafes across the country are introducing kegs for their coffees.
But while you might associate drinking from a keg with knocking back a few beers, these kegs are designed to eliminate up to 10,000 single-use milk bottles per cafe each year.
Tasmanian company The Udder Way has joined forces with Waikato’s Green Valley Dairies, which is filling reusable milk kegs with organic and non-organic milk.
Each The Udder Way keg holds 18 litres of milk and has a lifespan of at least eight years before it is recycled and turned back into more kegs. This allows the average café to eliminate 7000 to 10,000 milk bottles a year.
Auckland’s Daily Bread is one New Zealand business which has signed on to use The Udder Way milk kegs.
Manager Emily Hancock said not only were the kegs much easier for baristas to use but there was less mess, less waste, and they take up much less space than bottles.
“As a company that is continuously looking for ways to be more efficient and environmentally friendly, we knew The Udder Way would be a great move for us.
“After seeing how little amount of space the tap itself takes up, and how easy it is to not only swap out kegs but also clean the tubes each day, the adaption has been seamless.”
It would also probably save the cafe money in the long run, she said.
The keg is connected to a bench top tap and an air compressor.
The idea for the reusable milk kegs came to The Udder Way founder Ed Crick while he was running three cafes in Tasmania.
Almost every middle-aged New Zealander, and most kids, should be choosing to drink trim or skim milk. Yet 50% of us choose full cream instead.
“We were going through almost 30,000 plastic milk bottles a year, which really concerned me. We were making the effort to use things like sustainable coffee cups and meanwhile our bins were overflowing with plastic bottles.”
So, the former tradie started dreaming up ways to eliminate the need for single-use plastic milk bottles.
In 2021, he launched The Udder Way in Australia, with the mission to eliminate 100 million single-use plastic milk bottles globally, per year.
“Two years on from launching our kegs in Australia, we’re now removing around 1.6 million milk bottles from waste a year. With more and more business coming on board every day on both sides of the Tasman, we anticipate that number to triple by the end of 2023,” he said.
Green Valley Dairies general manager Mark Pulman said that the milk kegs were a win for the dairy industry, hospitality sector and the environment.
“This is the most exciting reusable packaging solution we have come across,” he said.
“It’s great to have an alternative option that’s specifically designed for both the dairy and food service industries, with all the relevant certification.”