Power of Influence: the Modern Milkman story 

Written by Ollie Wilkinson

There may be a few I’s in sustainability. But there’s also an us.  

We all have the power to save our planet. There’s a reason why we talk about environmental impact, and that’s because everyone can influence the future of our species, wildlife, and the planet we call home. That’s right, influencers aren’t just for YouTube and TikTok! 

Many small steps to reduce our carbon footprint will forge huge strides towards a greener, brighter future. Our once charming little green milkround is a perfect example of that.  

What started as a tiny seed of an idea during a post-work pint soon became a dream, which then turned into four friends driving around Lancashire delivering milk using nothing but a little black book and a beaten-up old truck. 

This is the story of how that one dream united an entire network of plastic-saving, waste-fighting eco-warriors, who have since saved over 37 million plastic bottles from landfill. 

Blue Planet meets green milkround 

“Never before have we had such an awareness of what we are doing to the planet, and never before have we had the power to do something about that. The future of humanity and indeed, all life on earth, now depends on us.” 

These are the words of Sir David Attenborough, a man who truly understands humanity’s power of influence on our planet. He knows that, as a species, we’ve made a mess of our oceans, forests, fields and landscapes. But he also knows that, together, we can fix it. 

This quote from Sir David, (or Saint David as we call him), is from his Blue Planet series, the very series that inspired our four founders to create the Modern Milkman. 

Shocked by the heartbreaking scenes of plastic pollution in our ocean, the four friends were determined to join forces and fight the problem. For them, Blue Planet was a siren, warning them of the future we were hurtling towards. A rallying cry for a consumer movement, which they realised they could set in motion. 

A modern take on an old tradition 

Determined to empower and inspire people to help save our planet, our four founders set up a sustainable milkround. Their aim? To reduce waste and embrace a greener way of grocery shopping. Sounds simple, right?  

They knew we needed to look to the past, to protect our future. That return-and-reuse, recyclable and compostable packaging was the best way to prevent filling our landfills and oceans with waste.  

A traditional milkround ticked a lot of these boxes, but the challenge was making it work alongside the expectations of convenience that supermarkets and technology had created. 

“We started delivering milk, and through that process we learned why consumers had left it behind,” says Simon Mellin, our Co-Founder and CEO. “It was an industry that just never modernised. People need flexibility and cash is slowly dying away, we pay more with cards and online than ever.” 

To deliver convenience with a conscience and “significantly reduce plastic and food waste”, Simon knew the milkround had to be “accessible to the masses”. Consumers needed a simple service that adopted technology, rather than shying away from it. 

And so, our website and app were created, allowing users to plan their grocery orders based on how much they needed, shopping sustainably little and often to reduce food waste.  

Low and behold, the Modern Milkman was born; the best example of new-meets-old since your granny joined TikTok. 

“A milkround for the masses” 

“Plastic pollution is a problem that’s not going away,” says Simon. “It has a hugely negative impact on the planet, reducing biodiversity in the oceans, contributing to climate change and even impacting human health. 

“Our aim is to help people do their bit and reduce their environmental impact by providing convenient and accessible solutions to reduce waste and make plastic-free choices.” 

The power of influence 

We started with one round and a few hundred customers. We now have thousands of customers, who’ve saved over 88,000 wheelie bins’ worth of plastic. 

But none of this would’ve happened without Blue Planet opening our founders’ eyes. Without our independent dairies, farmers and suppliers producing deliciously fresh, sustainable produce. Without our hard-working milkies delivering it to doorsteps up and down the country. Without our customers joining our mission, saving plastic and sharing our story.  

Our founders were not alone in being inspired by Blue Planet. 88% of viewers were motivated to change their lifestyle after watching the pilot whale grieve over her dead calf killed by plastic; the albatross raising a plastic bag, mistaking it for her young; the turtle ensnared in a plastic bag; the whale trying to eat a plastic bucket (Global Citizen). 

How to make an impact 

We don’t want to get all High School Musical on you, but we are well and truly all in this together. And if a singing baby shark can get every kid singing in a classroom, there’s no reason why a green milkround can’t get everyone on your street saving plastic. 

Even the Hulk, the greenest, strongest superhero in town, can’t save the planet on his own. He needs a team of superheroes alongside him. So eco-warriors, it’s time to assemble! 

Our average customer saves over 100 plastic bottles every year. And that doesn’t even include the plastic they’ve saved through recommending us. As we saw with Blue Planet, one action can spark millions of actions all over the world. The same applies to your milkround. One recommendation is another 100 bottles saved over 12 months, which leads to another recommendation, and another 100 bottles saved. 

Change spreads like wildfire, and we all have the power to ignite inspiration, spark imaginations, and light the fire needed to scorch plastic waste into the history books and light the way to a brighter, greener future. 

Want to join the fight against plastic waste? Begin your milkround and start counting the amount of plastic you prevent from entering our oceans.  

Already signed up and enjoying our scrumptiously sustainable produce? Good for you! Have you tried referring us to your loved ones to further increase your positive impact on our environment? Remember, recommending the milkround is mending the planet!

Find your inspiration

Meet some of our other eco heroes:

Look how much plastic we've saved!

42,750,240

Plastic bottles saved and counting

101,935

Wheelie bins of plastic saved from landfill

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