WHILE we must applaud the efforts of Cheryl Hadland of Tops Nurseries in trying to make a difference environmentally through switching milk deliveries to glass bottles from plastic, we should step back and examine the claims from a scientific perspective.

In the article of 28th February, recycling of plastic milk containers is rubbished as a source of polluting fires and that 70% are not put to recycling. These are misleading statements. Recycling of plastic is an efficient way of reusing the material and does not result in the plastic going to landfill, fires or, indeed, the oceans. If Mrs Hadland recycles her plastic correctly, why is she worrying about it?

One concern is that for milk bottles to have as small an environmental footprint for production and recycling as plastic, each bottle has to be used at least 40 times. This is purely production and recycling - not the extra cost of cleaning and sterilisation.

Another, perhaps more worrying, issue is that glass bottled milk is half as heavy again as milk in plastic containers. The extra transport costs involved are not factored into the recycling calculations and have their own extra impact through pollution and greenhouse gasses.

We must all be aware and concerned for the environment. However, we should take our lead from the scientific community, not self-appointed "green czars".


The Grove, Bournemouth