If you’re trying to remove as much plastic as possible from your everyday life, it’s likely you’ll get stuck with some items. Yoghurt is one of those items. Unlike milk, it almost always comes in plastic.
Can you buy plastic-free yoghurt in the UK? Yes, though it will cost you more and you may need to have it delivered. Since yoghurt is quite easy to make, you might want to look into investing in a yoghurt maker instead.
In this article, we’ll give you an overview of the different ways to meet your yoghurt fix without using so much plastic.
In recent years, many of us have begun to realise the devastating effects plastic can have on both the environment and our health.
Every year 8 million tonnes of waste is added to our oceans.
Plastic waste takes a long time to break down, and can contain harmful chemicals and toxins which begin to leak out first into the soil, and then spread into the water and air—the things we all depend on for a healthy life.
One way we can all make a difference is to buy less processed foods that are packaged in plastics. Seven out of ten people in the UK regularly eat yoghurt, which means a lot of empty plastic yoghurt pots.
Some dairy products can be quite easy to buy in non-plastic packaging (milk in traditional glass bottles for example), but until recently it’s been quite difficult to find plastic-free yoghurt.
However, yoghurt in recyclable glass or ceramic pots is starting to appear in our supermarkets and independent grocers.
Glass yoghurt pots can be recycled with your other bottles and jars, or you could even upcycle them into tealight holders, unusual cocktail glasses, storage for herbs or spices or as mini flower vases!
Another option if you want to ditch the plastic yoghurt pots is to try making your own yoghurt. Homemade yoghurt is cheaper, can be healthier and is surprisingly easy to make.
Yoghurt making machines can be bought from retailers such as Lakeland or Amazon, but you can also make yoghurt using just a heavy saucepan.
We’ve included instructions on how to make your own yoghurt at the end of this article, but if you’d rather buy plastic-free yoghurt ready-made, check out our list of places you can buy it from.
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Where to Buy Plastic-Free Yoghurt in the UK
1. Abel & Cole
If you’re looking for regular natural yoghurt in a glass jar, rather than flavoured dessert yoghurt, this product from Brown Cow Organics is one of your best options. It’s available to buy online from the organic fruit and veg delivery company Abel & Cole.
As well as the natural variety, you can also get it in Vanilla, Raspberry, Blackcurrant, and Honey Yoghurt flavours.
It comes in a recyclable glass jar with a recyclable metal lid. It has a nice, creamy taste thanks to the organic Guernsey milk used to make it.
On Able & Cole, you can choose to buy it as a single jar (available in 160 g and 475 g packs), as part of a bigger grocery order, or have it delivered each week.
2. Direct Milk Supplies Ltd (directmilk.com)
Direct Milk Supplies (DMS) is a family-run dairy supplier established in 1966 in Elstree, Hertfordshire.
The company sells a wide variety of luxury yoghurts in glass or terracotta jars, including Loseley rich and creamy yoghurts (available in delicious flavours including Peaches and Jersey Cream and Pear and Creamy Fudge), and La Fermiere yoghurts.
Direct Milk Supplies deliver to London, Hertfordshire and the Home Counties (check their website here for more details).
If you live elsewhere in the UK, try looking for similar diary suppliers in your area to see if they can deliver yoghurt in a glass or ceramic pot to your home.
3. Farm Shops and Health Food Stores
Another good place to find yoghurt in a glass or ceramic pot is at your local farm shop or health food store.
You’re more likely to find locally sourced yoghurt at a farm shop, which can often be cheaper, and less transportation is better for the environment. Local farm shops and independent stores sometimes offer a refill system too.
4. Chanteroy Online
Chanteroy Online is a French food retailer based in London providing free delivery to the surrounding postcode area.
Chanteroy sells La Fermière wholemeal yoghurts which come in small terracotta pots. The vanilla-flavoured yoghurt comes in a pack of 2 jars (140 g each).
La Laitière yoghurt packs are also available from Chanteroy, with lemon, fruit or vanilla varieties sold in small recyclable glass jars.
Online supermarket Ocado now sell natural live yoghurt made by Glenilen Farm, a small family farm business based in West Cork, Ireland.
This yoghurt has added strawberries/raspberries/rhubarb, is free from additives, and the glass jar is completely recyclable. Each jar of yoghurt is sold individually at 99p (at the time of writing). See Glenilen Farm yoghurt on Ocado here.
Making Your Own Yoghurt
You can start making a batch of homemade yoghurt in two different ways: by using a few tablespoons of store-bought plain yoghurt (or yoghurt you’ve made previously), or with a yoghurt starter powder.
There are lots of different recipes for both methods online, but the following recipe uses ready-prepared or shop-bought natural yoghurt.
Homemade Yoghurt Recipe
You will need:
- 1-litre whole milk
- 1 heaped tbsp powdered milk
- 60 g natural full-fat yoghurt
- Firstly, bring the natural yoghurt to room temperature.
- Gently heat the milk in a saucepan to 45C, making sure it doesn’t boil (use a thermometer if you have one).
- Whisk in the powdered milk then stir in the yoghurt.
- Immediately cover the dish in clingfilm, and place somewhere warm such as an airing cupboard or next to an oven for 4-6 hours or overnight.
- You can also wrap the dish in a towel to help keep it warm.
- The next day, transfer to the fridge and leave to chill for at least 3 hours.
An easier way to make yoghurt at home could be to use a yoghurt maker such as the Duronic YM2 Yoghurt Maker. This yoghurt maker is very cheap and comes with seven 160 ml glass jars, which each provide an individual serving.
If you are used to having yoghurt regularly, we recommend investing in a yoghurt maker.
You can also use a starter culture pack such as this one from ibspot.
For more ways to reduce your usage of plastic, see our complete guide to using less plastic.
Clare began her career as a technical writer, but since having her boys has worked mostly from home writing content for various websites, including health and beauty and educational resource sites.