Asda has today announced that it will replace coloured caps with clear caps on all its own label fresh milk, including skimmed, semi-skimmed, whole, organic, and filtered milk.
The change will mean that 268 tonnes of High-Density Polythene (rHDPE) can be recycled to make new milk bottles and is part of Asda’s plan to make more of its food packaging recyclable. As a result of this change 207 million plastic milk caps will now be recycled in this way each year.
The switch to natural-coloured caps means that they can be easily recycled back into food grade packaging. Unlike green, blue, and red coloured caps, the clear bottle caps, which contain 30% recycled material, can be recycled, and go back into food packaging.
In partnership with Arla, the UK’s largest dairy cooperative, the change will be rolled out in Asda stores from June and will also affect Yeo Valley fresh milk. Customers will be able to distinguish between the different varieties by the coloured labelling on all milk bottles.
Fiona Dobson, Lead Packaging Strategy and Innovation Manager at Asda, said: “At Asda, we are committed to finding ways to reduce our environmental impact. The introduction of clear caps on our milk bottles, is part of our wider commitment to drive 100% recyclability packaging and increase recycled content levels across all of our products by 2025.”
Catriona Mantle, Head of Milk, Organic and Yogurt at Arla, said: “As the UK’s largest dairy cooperative, we are committed to our climate journey at Arla and are focussed on reducing emissions throughout production, transport and logistics, packaging, and on farm. We are continuously exploring new ways to reduce our climate impact from our packaging material and are pleased to confirm we will be introducing clear caps across our milk portfolio from early June 2023, which will see nearly 1,000 tonnes of food grade plastic being retained in the circular system. Whilst our coloured caps are already recyclable and made of 30% recycled material (rHDPE), the switch to clear caps means the caps can be easily recycled back into food grade packaging.”
Jayne Paramor, Strategic Technical Manager – Plastics, WRAP “We applaud Asda on their decision to join the growing group of UK retailers who are removing pigments from their milk bottle caps. Clear, colourless plastics have much higher demand as recycled material, so removing pigments will help to produce valuable recycled plastics and build end markets for these reprocessed materials, ensuring that they find a second life as new products, including new milk bottles and lids. This small but impactful change is helping to make the UK’s milk bottles – which are already widely recycled into new milk bottles and a fantastic example of the circular economy for plastics in action – even more recyclable. An exemplary step in developing a circular economy for plastics.”