UK – British supermarket chain Asda is replacing colored milk bottle tops with clear caps across its own-label fresh milk to recycle 207 million pieces of plastic every year.

Rolling out across its 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.

While both the colored caps and clear lids are fully recyclable and made of 30% recycled material, the Big 4 grocer’s switch to natural-colored caps means that they can easily be recycled back into food-grade packaging.

The grocer is rolling out the change in partnership with Arla, the UK’s biggest dairy cooperative, which will also see it affect Yeo Valley Fresh Milk.

While Asda will be switching out the red, blue and green caps for colorless versions, shoppers can still distinguish milk types by the colored labeling on all 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.”

The initiative falls under Asda’s strategy to transform more of its food packaging into recyclable versions.

Arla Organic and Yogurt Milk head Catriona Mantle said: “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 1,000t of food-grade plastic being retained in the circular system.

“Whilst our colored 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.”

The move comes just after Aldi also announced that it would be rolling out the colorless caps across all its milk products at the end of last month.

According to Aldi, the move means that 200 tonnes of high-density polythene (rHDPE) used to make the caps can be left for kerbside household recycling collections and reused to create new milk bottles.

“At Aldi, we are constantly reviewing ways to become a more sustainable supermarket and cut down on single-use plastic,” commented Aldi plastics and packaging director Luke Emery.

Other retailers including Waitrose and Co-op have also moved to colorless milk bottle caps, while supplier Müller – Aldi’s partner in its initial trial – began phasing out colored ones entirely in November last year.

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