Dairy group Müller and retailer Waitrose are to replace coloured milk bottle caps with clear HDPE ones in order to help recyclability.
Currently, milk bottles typically have a green, blue or red cap that denotes the type of milk in the bottle.
However, according to the two companies, switching to clear caps could boost the availability of rHDPE on the market by 1,560 tonnes per year.
Research conducted by Müller, which buys a fifth of all milk produced on Britain’s farms, shows that consumers support the change, if it further improves the availability of food grade recycled plastic material.
Müller found that just over half of all shoppers look for the colour of milk caps when selecting their milk in store, while others either use the different coloured labels, remember the previous location in the fridge or use the fixture signage.
But eight out of ten shoppers said, given the choice, that they would choose a bottle of milk which used a clear milk cap which could be recycled into food grade material, over a coloured one that could not.
Following years of collaboration with Waitrose and a successful in-house trial, Müller is further partnering with the supermarket to trial in all 331 of its shops, from 4 – 30 April 2022.
Currently, the milk bottles contain 40% recycled content.
Müller Milk & Ingredients commercial director Liam McNamara said: “Everyone is thinking more about what they buy, the nutritional benefits, the value it represents and the packaging used.
“We want to be the partner of choice for our customers, we recognise the commitments they are making in this area, and following a successful trial period, then this is another step we can offer.
“As the first dairy company in the UK to trial clear caps on fresh milk, we are working hard to innovate and lead in issues that are not only important for customers, but for consumers too.
“In an industry that needs access to more rHDPE, we are really excited to collaborate with Waitrose across all of their shops and trial this additional solution. Our fresh milk bottles already contain up to 40% recycled material, but with access to more, we can partner with our customers to increase this further.
“But we will not stop there, we are also looking at ways to add recycled content into our clear-caps.”