Vicar Steve Harrison has blessed a milk refill station next to his church in Leonard Stanley, which is helping to save thousands of plastic bottles.
His local dairy farmers, Godsells, are becoming more sustainable by encouraging customers to refill milk bottles from their vending machine with fresh milk from the farm. There’s also a vending machine with lots of other fresh produce and delicious local products.
Godsells signed up to the Refill App which helps people to find places near them which offer water bottle refills or other products like washing detergent. It is estimated that the milk refill machine has already saved over 13,000 single-use plastic cartons.
Steve said, “The three things that I really appreciate about this scheme are: firstly, you don’t need to recycle your plastic. Secondly, I’ve found that we are not wasting milk. We buy as much as we need, when we need it, so it doesn’t go off so we’re not chucking it away. The third thing is that we’re buying milk and cheese from cows that are living within two miles away. It’s supporting the local economy and means that the goods don’t have be transported so far, so there’s less damage to the environment. For me, looking after God’s creation is important. I cycle a lot and part of the reason for that is to limit the impact my travel has on the environment.”
Steve has noticed that blessing the refill station has been something that has interested younger people in the community too – “They’re seeing the church as being a bit different, out in the community, not behind stone walls all the time,” he said.
From open gardens, to flower stalls and coffee mornings, the churches across the Stroudwater Team have a real heart for their community and supporting and being part of what’s going on locally.
The world now produces an estimated 300 million tonnes of plastic every year and up to half of which is single-use. Less than 10 percent of the plastic we’ve produced has ever been recycled and 80 percent has been sent to landfill or ended up in our natural environment.