Co-op milk bottles to move to clear HDPE caps


Supermarket retailer Co-op has committed to removing all coloured caps from its milk bottles and will replace them with clear ones instead.

Following a successful trial in August in 400 stores, all green caps will move to clear by the end of December.


In early 2023, red and blue caps will be replaced with clear HDPE caps.

Once all caps have been switched, Co-op expects that it will be removing 150 tonnes of coloured plastic from HDPE streams per annum.

By removing green caps first, which accounts for three fifths of its milk sales, this should unlock the majority of the recyclability benefits of clear HDPE caps.

Co-op milk buyer Adam Williams said: “There are changes in store for how shoppers see milk bottle tops, with the new caps able to be more easily recycled and retained in the food sector unlike their coloured counterparts.

“There is limited availability of food grade recycled plastic, and that is a challenge. It is important that packaging is viewed as a valuable resource.

“We continue to work to explore new ways to make it easier to recycle and reuse these materials, and small changes to everyday issues can collectively add up to make a big difference – this is a ‘clear’ solution that can reduce the dependency on virgin plastic in the supply chain.”