I am trying to find out how I can get yogurt or sour cream in an eco friendly way. I know the films on the supermarket plastic pots are currently not recycled, so that's not great... If I start a yogurt refilling service (i.e. like a milk man), what would some things I need to consider be?

I am thinking:

  • Refill or Plastic single use - Carbon footprint Vs recyclability
  • food safety - do I really need fancy machines to make it 'safe' to eat - what area of science will help me find out what yogurt is safe
  • Is it better to heat up small portions of milk (DIY home business) or keep the process they currently use (I don't know what it is) to make yogurt/cream?
  • what system would be best to allow customers to get yogurt
  • what materials would be best for containing the yogurt (for a refillable container)
  • how did they use to eat/make yogurt in the past
  • are there any existing services like this

(You can comment anything - ideas, incomplete answers, I just need some info)

For the system of getting it to customers, I don't care how unusual it might be. I thought of just serving them every morning, or them bringing own containers and me pouring it out.

Any other resources you would suggest?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Yoghurt is sold in refillable glass pots. At least by one company in my country. They get returned, cleaned and reused - better than plastic... $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Aug 2 at 9:24
  • $\begingroup$ Yep, there exist "premium" single serving yogurts that are packaged in glass. I like glass, but hard to mass market because of cost. You're looking at a boutique "upmarket environment conscious" niche. Plastics are just too cheap, with the material stream leading to PE, PP etc being essentially waste material from oil production, which is subsidized and politically well defended. To be honest, I don't think the normal polypropylene would be that bad either, if we still had a functioning recycling infrastructure, though we seem to have dismantled it here (NY state, US) for mind boggling reasons $\endgroup$
    – Pete W
    Aug 2 at 14:02
  • $\begingroup$ @PeteW Note that returnable reusable plastic bottles are a thing in Gremany. $\endgroup$
    – user253751
    Aug 4 at 10:33
  • $\begingroup$ I wonder if people could bring their own containers to a soda-fountain-like dispenser. Maybe not a good idea since the dispenser can't be sealed and can't clean itself easily. But just imagine. $\endgroup$
    – user253751
    Aug 4 at 10:35

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