Save the (other) pint!

In his new role as Waste-free Spokesperson, Nandor has taken up Rod‘s battle to save the South Island’s glass milk bottles by launching our late Co-Leader’s petition, aimed at New Zealand’s own billionaire Graeme Hart.

As Nandor says:

“If Graeme Hart and Meadow Fresh ditch glass bottles, they will create a mountain of waste and squander vast amounts of energy. Mr Hart wants to boost his profit margin by off-loading his waste disposal costs onto ratepayers and local councils.?

When Nandor launched it in Parliament earlier this afternoon, Dunedin-based Government Minister David Benson-Pope was the first to step up and sign it!

See Nandor’s media release for the petition form in different formats.

32 Comments Posted

  1. Come on you guys, enough blogging. Get out there with the petition !
    It can just as well be signed N. of Cook Strait as S. Return to Nandor by
    end Nov.

  2. Now you’ve really polarised people, Phil! Evil corporations may have taken over much of the world’s food production, but if the Devil himself were to enter the industry, Marmite and Vegemite would be his products. Shudder!

    And even if I liked avocado (which I don’t), there’s no way it could ever compare to the piquant bite of well-aged Gouda, a gooey, stinky slab of Gorgonzola or the sweet nuttiness of Parmigiano Reggiano freshly cut from a wheel. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a Quattro Formaggio pizza to order…

  3. no no even..thats too gluggy….try toast..a light smear of marmite/vegemite…a thick smear of avo…freshly squezed lemon juice over the top…and freshly ground black pepper….

    try that and you’ll go “..cheese..?..bah!..:)


  4. Thanks for the advice Phil, i’ll stick with butter but yes, avocado with unpasteurised cheese, that would be nice!!
    A point about fats is that if they are naturally raised and unaltered fats, they are very good foy you and don’t make you fat, quite the opposite. And that is one of the many good things about whole milk and whole milk products.
    And also another reason why green principles are the only way forward.

  5. even said..”.. But you go back to your non fat margarine ..”

    sorry..not this bunny rabbit…a pox on all of it..

    ( i suggest weaning yourself off using avocado as a crutch…:)


  6. well u don’t obviously Phil.
    Because of the modern scare mongering of various industries, modern people eat the most, fat-free food compared to any other point in our evolution(or de-evolution) and are the most obese.
    But you go back to your non fat margarine and glossy ads telling you how health smart you are, never mind the fact that if u put some margarine on the windowsill and leave it there all year not one insect will go near that marvellous fat-free food example you have.
    Too not question authority when it has huge corporate profits behind it’s point of view is a bit silly.

  7. gee even…hadn’t thought of the consumption of even more full-fat dairy as being a solution to obesity…..who knew..?


  8. One of the problems is that what’s deemed “healthy” by the authorities is completely corrupted by big business interests and the greed factor.
    What would go a long long way to solving obesity and other health problems is if we(the people) were allowed/given access to buy whole milk products from ceritifed clean and organic suppliers.
    Not from huge factories that do all kind of innovative techniques to rob us of the benefits of one of natures simply and time honoured foods. It shows how far gone we are down the corporate model of living that our common sense is so far removed from utilising whole milk, as has been done as long as we’ve been around.

  9. katie said..”..Much of the obesity amognst children today is related to the high levels of sugar, fat, and salt in foods marketed specifically as snacks or for school lunchboxes…”

    yep…so it’s the manufacturers/pushers of this crap as villain mumber one….(solvable by a carrot/stick regulatory regime..the bastards will never do it voluntarily…)

    ignorant parents…problem number two..(partly solveable by education..?)

    willfully ignorant school committee/tuck shop operaters……who eagerly push this ill-health inducing crap through school tuck-shops…because it has a good ‘profit-margin’ for them…ggrrr!
    at least one of them on each committee knows what they are doing..and how it sucks….and is damaging their children for such ignorant/shortsighted reasons…..

    solution..? you’d think…but most possibly a regulatory regime..(make the willfull fools sell healthy food..?)

    one thing is for cannot continue the way it is…eh..?


  10. “the integrity of our diary industry is only a small part of the whole discussion”
    Well i would say it’s a slightly misinformed discussion but truth is usually suppressed when it doesn’t serve status quo.
    As Boot’s family will testify to as they are incorporating whole dairy products as a major part of their diet, not only is it better tasting but the state of health/strength and hapiness they enjoy as a result from it will be obvious.
    Fact is, whole societies have existed on raw diary products and would give offerings to their gods every summer spring, becuase of the strength and vitality it provided their societies. And there is a lot of scientific evidence telling us what they all ready knew-not to mention the ill effects of pasteurised diary. But unless whole diary products can be co-opted by corporate interests-which it can’t- then the public will have to go without, as anything that fosters good health and independence is a threat.

  11. boot,
    Nice post. reminded me of my childhood, and the cow on our farm for home milk supply. Fresh warm milk is indescribable to those who have never tasted it.

    BJ –
    sorry, mate, but there are effects of our factory dairy processes; lactose intolerance and dairy allergies are climbing in the current generation of children, never mind the genetically lactose intolerant asian immigrants.

    Milk is a living food. Yoghurt is a living food. Sterilise them for consumption, and much of the goodness of amino acids and vitamins is lost (heat denaturation, anyone) I appreciate that vegans sidestep this issue by not consuming animal products, but for the general population, the integrity of our food sources is a concern.

    Food safety is becoming an issue not of mere removal of contaminants, but also the problem of foods which have been so denatured as to have little nutritive value.

    Try checking what’s in foods commonly eaten by children, available in your local s/market. Then compare with similar foods in an organic market (look, I’m being very restrained and not mentioning brand names….) you will find many less filler products in organic foods, especially the more processed foods. Healthy children grow sensibly on healthy food.

    Much of the obesity amognst children today is related to the high levels of sugar, fat, and salt in foods marketed specifically as snacks or for school lunchboxes.

    The integrity of our dairy industry is only a small part of the whole discussion.

  12. The figures quoted were for production of new bottles:
    recycled glass vs virgin glass(i.e. sand plus all the other ingredients). So if you have 50% recycled glass you would be saving 10-15% of the energy required in the bottle making factory.
    What was not included was the cost to mine and transport the sand and other ingredients vs the cost of smashing and transporting the glass – hey if they care to pick out all the broken glass from my bike tyres they can have it for free ;-).

    And Stuey, as you rightly point out, the actual costs for the bottle when in service (collecting is typically done on the back trip, washing is hot water plus caustic) compare very favourably with plastic bottles production costs (paid by the company) PLUS disposal costs (paid by society).

  13. go vegan..problem solved..rivers clean up…animals don’t suffer..everyone is healthier…

    cows milk is actually designed for baby cows..

    quite strange really that so many of us take it…

    for a different perspective a peep into a culture that spurns the use of dairy products as a whole can be revelatory…eh..?…….

    and i speak as a former serious cheese fan….get the muchies and half a block could be knocked off….i mixed the texture thing for a while..but that is long gone..

    it’s quite strange how during the evolution of diet smells and tastes that once made me salivate..(ie bacon cheese..are but two examples) evoke just the opposite reaction..

    go figure….


  14. nice research fastbike.

    so “each 10% of cullet saves about 2 to 3% on energy costs of new glass.”

    1) does this factor in the energy costs of collecting, distributing, washing etc.

    2) This is not a particularly high energy saving, so one can easily see why the energy involved collecting and distributing the glass could mean that recycling actually wastes energy. However Meadowfresh already have the collection network and they are collecting the bottles for re-use anyway so this is not an issue.

    Energy of collection and distribution is only an issue with pure recycling (and we knew that reuse trumps recycle anyway) and it is only an issue with inefficiently organised collection schemes – surely there are possibilities to make the whole process less inefficient to make recycling less energy intensive.

    Presumably washing, smashing and melting glass is not high tech so it could be distributed rather than centralised and therefore the transport costs are less.

    Always annoys me when anti-environmentalists quote studies that show that “environmental behaviour” is not actually environmental, when of course you need to think about the assumptions that the study uses and to view the figures as a benchmark to improve from to make it more environmental.

  15. Nice to see that David Benson Pope supports reusing milk bottles. Dairy farming however is depleting our countrys natural resources, they are farming on capital not on the natural surplus the land could provide. Their is no market pressure at current that could make dairy farmers adopt a truly sustainable way of farming. THe free market wont fix things because the long term ie 10,000 years can never be truly factored in

  16. Tomsk:

    “The so-called “reprocessing? (i.e. “washing?) of milk bottles means that the same product can be reused many, many times (does anyone have any figures?) before it is downgraded enough to require actual recycling. ”

    According to my sources at the Meadowfresh bottling plant, an average glass bottle will see about 30 trips. And after that it can be reduced to cullet (smashed) and used as feedstock in a new batch of bottles.

    The US based Glass Packaging Inst says each 10% of cullet saves about 2 to 3% on energy costs of new glass.

  17. David Seymour

    Oh yes, Lomberg. His work has been comprehensively debated and then dismissed – so much so – that it is very rare to see anyone now cite it to back their position.

  18. David Seymour: Please. Surely this “the answer is the market, I don’t care what the question is” line is getting old.
    Repeat after me: The cost of a product is the cost to produce and sell it PLUS the cost to dispose of or reuse it.
    Graham Hart pays for the first bit. We pay for the second, through taxation. Yet he gets all the profits.Why is this? We paid for half of the cost of the product!
    There is every incentive to minimise the cost of production. Under the current economic system there is no incentive to reduce the cost of disposal.. because someone else pays. If you can’t grasp this simple concept, well, you should go and work for ACT… oops, too late.

  19. Even – Agree your thoughts re pasteurised dairy products. I’ve recently started buying milk straight from the horses mouth as it were…delivered lukewarm (i.e as fresh as fresh can be) from a certified organic farm, a good couple of cm’ layer of rich cream on top (for my kids to argue over…) re-used glass bottles, $1 per litre cheaper than organic alternative carton milk from a mainstream producer, absolutely no comparison. this is the way nature intended it to be, milk never tasted so good!

  20. Lovely, Mr Seymour.

    The Earth exists for us… Animals exist for us… The forests exist for us… Fellow humans, with this enlightened revelation, let’s all go out there and exploit the hell out of all these entities for our own ends. Why, everything else living on this planet (and non living things included) are merely means to our selfish, capitalistic ends. Hallelujah. Praise The Market. Amen.

    I too recommend Lomberg’s work for a read – if you’re bored and are in need of a good hearty laugh. 😉


    Ok, now to the real world, free from libertarian fantasies and delusional musings:

    1) Sorry David, but not all drives and actions are attributable or reducible to market instincts. Reusing, reducing and recycling are all measures we take on a voluntary basis with no ulterior motive.

    2) Lomberg’s thesis has been largely discredited, much more so than Marx’s Communist Manifesto mind you.

    3) You imply that the Greens believe that humans exist for the Earth (as opposed to the Earth existing for humans). We don’t. We believe that humans live TOGETHER WITH AND ALONGSIDE the Earth as an interconnected whole. Destroy the Earth and you harm humanity and its endeavours, both directly and indirectly.

  21. Stuey

    You decide. Just keep in mind that we’ve been using pasteurized milk for the better part of the past century. Any really nasty health effects would have shown up by now and they haven’t.

    There is no established science that won’t be denied by some. There must always be sceptics, they keep us honest… but we have to use better judgement than to accept their scepticism as truth without questioning the questioner.


  22. Tomsk, as you just said yourself, “but they’re prohibited by law”. Is this an any way related to corporate control? unregulated corporate control? maximum profits? Does it have anything to do with what’s in the best interests of the people?
    You don’t have to dig too deep to find out the huge crime that is the theft of good health and wellbeing by the pasteurisation of milk products, and the turning of one of the most healthy foods known to man into something that is not very good for the body. But it has given us the richest man in the country; undoubtably the industry turns ova a great profit margin but what is the real cost to society of this? A more repressed and ill population as well as huge amounts of cash flowing into concentrated hands?
    But this is just par for the course in the model of society that we are basing our future on, as well as the here and now. This model of wisdom, leads, as it is doing so with Australia, Britain, and America to the ruling elite having to sqeeze more and more the rest of the population, for the benefit of the few at the top, while allowing their corporations the responsibility of regulating themselves when it comes to environmental pollution and scarce resource issues
    As well as those countries, look at South America for the huge environmental destruction and poverty and deprevation caused by unregulated free market greed.
    AN increasing Pharmeutical industry,health industry, drugged population and general unhappiness of life are just some of the benefits on offer. What’s more it has gotten to the point or is damm close to it, where the earth’s ecosystems can not sustain this “quality” of life and if not broken beyound repair, are at the point of no return.
    We are part of nature and the more alienated we get from the practices and principles that sustained us in our evolution, the more impoverished we are getting. The writings on the wall, the choices are obvious.

  23. What about getting shops to sell milk from a tap? You could use your own container, and only buy as much as you need. For someone living alone and just using milk on morning cereal, the smallest milk container available at most outlets will go off when it’s only half empty: what a waste!

    I’m not sure I agree with Even that pasteurised milk is “poison”, but it certainly produces boring cheeses. Most people in NZ, unless they’ve been to Europe, don’t know what real cheese tastes like. And it’s not “deregulated, corporate greed” that leads to this, but the regulations themselves that prohibit the sale or importation of unpasteurised dairy products. There are plenty of cheesemakers who’d love to use unpasteurised milk, but they’re prohibited by law. Let’s start a Campaign for Real Cheese!

    Oh, and it’s definitely wrong to refer to reusing milk bottles as “recycling”. As William McDonough has pointed out, most recycling is really “downcycling” as it leads to a lower quality product than the original. The so-called “reprocessing” (i.e. “washing”) of milk bottles means that the same product can be reused many, many times (does anyone have any figures?) before it is downgraded enough to require actual recycling.

  24. “The Earth exists for us, not the other way around, without our consciousness there wouldn’t be much discussion about saving anything.”

    The quote above appears to assume the Earth exists only for those who are capable of intellectual discussion about saving it. This will exclude babies, young children, the mentally ill, those without a western style education, the inarticulate, the very old, the intellectually subnormal, future generations, past generations and other sentient beings.

    In short, about 90% or more of humans miss out, not to mention non-human animals with an interest in the planet.

    And what is the basis for the statement? Certainly not in religion or philosophy. The Christian tradition (probably the most anthropocentric) says clearly that the Earth is there for God. Other religions may not have the same concept of God but would not be so narrow as to think only humans – and a subset of humans at that – mattered to the Creator.

    If the Earth is there for a subsection of humans, then why is most of its wonder, beauty and biodiversity hidden from us. Why for example was the Creator so inordinately fond of beetles? Hardly something most humans would appreciate or even notice. Why is it that even now we know about only 10% of all the plant and animal species on the planet (and we know next to nothing about micro-organisms). Why is most of the Earth covered with water and therefore inaccessible to us? The Earth does not appear like a planet that was put here solely for human amusement or to be exploited by a human elite.

  25. The dairy industry is a cancer.
    Mr Hart may b the richest guy in the land and the industry may make massive profits per year, but the real cost to the country is immeasurable.
    They take one of natures time honoured and health giving gifts to man, and literally turn it into a poison. In all our years on the earth, how long do you think mankind has been heating, their until recently, valuable dairy products until it is dead? Would you be surprised if the corporate propaganda state we live in hasn’t TOLD you about the studies showing the dangerous effects this new “natures health” food has on the human system? Do you think the pioneer’s who came to this country to start a new life, unspoilt by rampent greed, used pasteurised diary products when building up the countries modern infrastructure?
    Just another example of how the deregulated, corporate greed is best for the country mentality, that takes something that was good and turns it into something that keeps people suppressed and ill, while making bucket loads of cash going into concentrated hands.
    Back to the topic in hand, off course recycling makes sense compared to plastics and their non disposable nature. If you are unfortunate enough to have been indoctrinated reading text book after text book telling you how wise the free market is, i’m sure you are befuddled enough to think that its a bad idea-no argument with me about that! And you get the extra comfort of tuning in to any media source reinforcing your position, hmmm, is there a connection?

  26. that URL you refer to says “I still believe in the other two Rs: reducing and reusing. But recycling? It’s a waste of time, money, and ever scarce resources.”

    I don’t think many Greens would disagree with that statement. We are all keen on reducing (BTW only 9 days until Buy Nothing Day) and reusing.

    What we would disagree with is your assertion that washing and refilling glass milk bottles should be described as recycling rather than what it is, reusing.

    You’re right that it is pointless to fight against the market – if recycling doesn’t make economic sense then we shouldn’t bother, well of course, there are two points to make:
    1) we should charge more for landfill, and charge the manufacturer of a product for it’s disposal costs, thus, it will be economic to recycle rather than throw away.
    2) we believe that in the future when the cost of energy and raw materials climbs due to oil and gas depletion it will be economic to reuse packaging, so it makes sense to keep the plant intact in this country ready for that day. Run the plant at a loss for a few years but take a long-term view that it will be good for the country to have those skills and facilities existing and not have to recreate them from scratch when peak oil really starts to bite.

  27. “In short, if recycling was good for the environment it would be saving scarce resources and would be profitable and political action wouldn’t be required to enforce it.”

    Lovely (libertairian) theory.. shame it’s nonsense.

    As has been pointed out on Frogblog many times, current financial structures allow businesses to externalise costs (landfills, pollution, non-renewable resources) and internalise profits. Until an accounting method which internailises those costs becomes widespread, there is *no other* way than pressure – public and private – to encourage non-economically-rational (where the rationalising unit is a sinlge business as opposed to a community or nation) decisions.

  28. David Seymour:

    The web address you recommend is “interesting”, but I found nothing that “pretty much undermines much of the Green Party’s reason for being”.

    It is probably a good thing that you “don’t have enough time for a protracted blog debate” as I believe you’d be unlikely to get it on frogblog. (Not from me anyway.)

  29. As a lucky South Islander I put our milk bottles out three times a week. In addition to household deliveries our “milkie” is responsible for stocking the local stores and Supermarkets with his company’s milk products.

    The butcher, the baker and the grocer used to provide a similar delivery service, at a time when there were fewer cars and people relied on public transport.

    What changes will post-Peak-Oil bring l wonder? In our street of 50 houses only a few residents have even begun to think about that.

  30. I recommend this before you sign, excuse its surly first paragraph.

    In short, if recycling was good for the environment it would be saving scarce resources and would be profitable and political action wouldn’t be required to enforce it.

    I realise this pretty much undermines much of the Green Party’s reason for being. Unfortunately I don’t haveenough time for a protracted blog debate so I can’t defend this comment further.

    Suffice to say I’m using these assumptions:

    The milk bottle usage amounts to recycling, not reusing there is too much reprocessing required to call it recycling, so much that disposables are cheaper.

    The Earth exists for us, not the other way around, without our consciousness there wouldn’t be much discussion about saving anything. Therefore if demand for its resources doesn’t set the prices of acquiring new and dumping old materials high enough to make recycling a voluntary activity, we should’t recycle.

    Producing plastic bottles won’t collapse the ecosystem. See Lomberg’s ‘The Skeptical Environmentalist’ for a detailed qualitative analysis of human impact on the Earth. It’s smaller than many believe.

    If people come to perceive a value in recycling and they are willing to pay for it that’s fine by me. However there is no need to be in government to create such perceptions.

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