Flashback: In 1954, a terrifying “sea monster” was caught at Balmoral Beach.
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Got milk? This eco-friendly Mosman and North Sydney delivery service will bring it to your doorstep.

Published On: February 6, 2024

The return of the Milko: A new bottled milk delivery service is available to lower north shore residents.


The age of the milkman was thought to be long gone – but much like the return of vinyl records and the infamous 80s mullet – history is once again repeating itself with the familiar sound of glass clinking bottles on the lower north shore.

Besides switching the horse and carriage for his refrigerated van, Dominic Ryan is replicating the strenuous work of the decades-old milkman for the noble goal of plastic reduction through his business, RESTORE.

Dominic Ryan has left the horse and cart behind, entering a new era of milk delivery with his business “Restore”.

“There’s lots of plastic on the beaches and in the harbour, and a lot of that is washing through from the stormwater drains of this area.

“There’s a whole community in the North Sydney area who clean the beaches and regularly volunteer, but we need to start at the source and invest in things that are not plastic,” Dominic explained.

Every Friday, Dominic begins his day by getting up at 1:30 am, driving to his commercial kitchen in Lane Cove, loading the van with their milk and yoghurt range, and delivering the products by 2am before completing the route around 6:30 am.

Restore Milk is delivered to local doors every Friday.

The aim is to reduce plastic reduction, with a premium product.

It’s a tough gig – and although one could reduce plastic production in numerous ways, Dominic is convinced this innovative tactic will activate people’s nostalgia and work wonders.

“The milkman was serving these streets [Mosman] until the mid-80s, and everyone remembers the milkman fondly.

“We’ve looked at the past, brought back that model and modernised that,” Dominic said.

Mosman’s milkman heritage dates to the 40s.

Mosman local Syd Flynn once delivered 302 litres of milk each day (by horse and carriage) in the 1940s.

Back then, car ownership and electric refrigeration were a rarity forcing supermarkets and homes alike to rely on daily deliveries of fresh provisions.

Dairy was one of them, so it was up to Mosman’s resident Milkman Syd Flyn, to make those deliveries.

The former firsts rugby player would begin at 4 am lug 302 litres of milk to 240 houses in five hours, by horse and carriage, in pitch black darkness.

No wonder this occupation was dissolved in the wake of the everyday use of electric refrigeration.

But not just the reminiscent taste of cold milk straight from the glass bottle has led Dominic to dive into dairy delivery.

Restore works with Tilba Dairy on far South Coast of NSW. Tilba Dairy is 100% Australian – and family-owned.

Despite milk being a key component in most Australians’ diets, the NSW Return and Earn scheme does not accept plastic milk bottles.

According to the Department of Primary Industries, from 2020-21 NSW produced 1.75 million litres of milk.

Also, in 2020-21, the Return and Earn scheme achieved a 9 per cent reduction in drink container litter compared to the previous year.

The NSW Return and Earn scheme does NOT accept plastic milk bottles, contributing to huge amounts of landfill.

With the significant amount of milk being produced and consumed in NSW compared to the potential of mass plastic reduction when adding community involvement, Dominic saw the milkman as a mechanism for connecting the two.

“Milk bottles are one of the key things that go into landfills, so I think it’s a good place to start.”

If you stroll through the dairy aisle in any major supermarket in NSW, you won’t see any glass containers for milk; this is another issue RESTORE wants to tackle.

“When I went to the supermarket, they’re just not giving us those options. Everything’s coming in plastic. Plastic is convenient and cheap, but there are consequences to that model, consequences on our health and the environment.”

Dominic is a regular at North Side Produce Markets in North Sydney.

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After calling the community, Dominic received over 400 responses from like-minded people concerned about the environment.

The business’s route began where Dominic resides in McMahons Point but has since expanded to include Mosman and North City Council areas and the bottom half of Willoughby Council.

Within the first four months, the business has saved 923 plastic bottles from landfill.

The plan is to keep expanding to cover all the central Sydney areas to reduce landfill plastics by 3000kg this year and get supermarket chains’ attention.

“I’m aiming that we can make enough noise and get enough people on board to get the attention of the supermarkets so they can start offering us proper plastic-free options,” Dominic said.

Suburban “Milko’s” were commonplace in the 1970’s.

Restore celebrates the return of home milk delivery.

The goal of plastic reduction is geared toward the health of the environment and the general public that consumes beverages from plastic containers.

According to a study, on average, one litre of water in plastic bottles contained 240,000 nanoplastics and microplastic particles.

Experts in microplastic studies have advised drinking tap water from glass or stainless steel containers to reduce exposure, but the advice also extends to any other plastic food or beverage containers.

Restore provides dairy milk, oat milk and yoghurt all in glass containers, each Friday.

RESTORE provides dairy milk, oat milk and yoghurt all in glass containers and ensures its products are obtained from the most ethical and best-tasting resources.

“I searched around the state for what I think is the best tasting milk in New South Wales that comes from the far south coast of Tilbury. It’s Jersey milk pasteurised and homogenised with cream on top.

“Our policies are to buy local and to work with New South Wales farmers and producers; our yoghurt is made in Marrickville by fifth-generation Greek Australian artisans, and the oat milk was made in Silverwater.”

To jump on the local milk run, visit RESTORE via their website, or you can also get in contact with them on Instagram.


Email: [email protected]

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Flashback: In 1954, a terrifying “sea monster” was caught at Balmoral Beach.
Mosman Council: All the latest news and information from your local government.

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Don’t miss our top stories delivered FREE each Friday.

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