Glass milk bottles to be delivered

From 23 March, when you want milk for your tea or coffee, you’ll be pouring it from a glass bottle.

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington is bringing glass bottles back, thanks to an industry-leading partnership with Eketehuna Country Meats. The University is the first large employer to change their milk supply to glass bottles, bringing us one step closer to a more sustainable, circular economy.

This change follows a successful trial of the milk bottles at Rutherford House.

All buildings at the Pipitea Campus, the School of Design & Architecture at the Te Aro Campus, and Murphy, Von Zedlitz, 42-50 Kelburn Parade, Student Union Building, Kirk, and Old Kirk buildings at the Kelburn campus will be receiving their blue-top milk in glass bottles from 23 March.

Other parts of the University will be added gradually over the coming months.

Rainsforth Dix, Director of Student and Campus Living at the University, says, “We are delighted with the success of the trial conducted at Rutherford House last year, and we are excited to be able to broaden our use of glass milk bottles. This scheme sees up to 40,000 plastic bottles removed from the ecosystem, and reaffirms our commitment to sustainability in a tangible way.”

For most offices, here’s how it will work:

  1. Pick up the bottles from the milk room. Each office will have a wooden carrier for carrying multiple bottles.
  2. Once the bottle is empty, give it a shake with cold water to rinse, and put the lid back on
  3. Take the bottle back to the milk room when you get the next lot of milk, or at the end of the day

There is some variation of the system for different parts of the University, and administrative staff in each area will be contacted and information sessions run by the Sustainability team, led by Rory Lenihan-Ikin, who can be contacted by email on

Only blue top bottles have been replaced as the new supplier does not offer skim milk. Green milk will remain in the plastic bottles.

This initiative has been led by the Sustainability Office and Campus Care, and joins a range of other environmentally friendly initiatives rolled out across campus over the past year.