‘I JUST want to say one word to you. Plastics.’ Back in the 1960s, before he bumped into Mrs Robinson, the freshly graduated Benjamin Braddock was being given career advice in The Graduate. ‘There’s a great future in plastics,’ he was told. ‘Think about it.’ Nearly fifty years on, we are thinking about plastics in a different way. Over the last few months, environmental concerns have become headline news. Much of that is down to David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II series, which showed the effect that plastic waste is having on our seas and oceans. There is currently estimated to be 150 million tonnes of plastic floating about in our waters, which kills 100,000 sea mammals and a million birds every year.

One person affected by the programme was the Environment Secretary Michael Gove, describing himself as being ‘haunted’ by the series. Gove, who famously professed that people have had enough of experts, appears to have made an exception in David Attenborough and set himself the task of doing something about it. Last month, he announced plans for a plastic bottle return scheme (only 43 per cent of the UK’s annual 13 billion plastic bottles are recycled, compared to 99 per cent in Germany).

Companies, too, appear to be getting in on the act. Costa Coffee have announced plans to recycle 500 million coffee cups a year by 2020 – its market share of the 2.5 billion polyethylene-lined cups we use each year. Waitrose, meanwhile, has announced plans to do away with all of its disposable cups by the end of the year.

Last week, I started getting milk delivered in glass bottles again. I was prompted by a Facebook post by the food writer Becky Thorn, who’d gone back to getting her milk in bottles. I must confess to having thought the milkman was a thing of the past, and in truth, he very nearly was. In 1975, 94 per cent of the UK’s milk was transported in glass bottles: by 2016, that figure had slumped to just three per cent. But, it turns out, you can still get milk delivered in Salisbury. I ordered online on a Sunday evening: on Monday morning the milk was there on my doorstep.

It seems I’m not alone in ordering milk again. Thanks to the ‘Blue Planet Effect’, milk companies across the board have reported a sharp rise in customers this year. Yes, it’s not as cheap as buying your milk from the supermarket, but each glass bottle gets reused up to 20 times, rather than the single use of a plastic container.

In helping the environment, it turns out that one of the unsung heroes could be the humble milkman.

To find your local milkman, visit findmeamilkman.net