A UK milk bottle producer has created what they claim to be the ‘world’s first’ milk bottle with up to 30% recycled materials.
The bottle, made by Nampak Plastics, has trialled tested and supplied the four-pint milk bottle, containing up to 30% recycled high density polyethylene (rHDPE).
The news comes in the same week that Nampak’s Infinity bottle won a silver prize for sustainability at the WorldStar awards. The bottle weighs 32g, represents a 20% material saving on the standard four-pint version found in most supermarkets today.
Alongside its partner, Closed Loop Recycling, Nampak has been able to increase the amount of rHDPE in the bottle up to 30% - a move which is said to save the dairy industry around 25,000 tonnes of virgin material each year.
Combined with Nampak’s other energy saving measures - such as a move to gas-based (rather than oil-based) polymer - the company estimates that there has been a 50% reduction in the carbon footprint of milk bottles produced at its British plants since 2008, saving some 113,000 tonnes of carbon overall.
The Infini bottle is already stocked in a number of major retailers such as Marks & Spencer, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s.
Eric Collins, Managing Director of Nampak Plastics, said: “Since its launch in 2012, Infini has continuously been responsible for a paradigm shift in milk packaging, using considerably less virgin material and increasing quantities of recycled plastic. Nampak gained a world first by introducing post consumer recycled waste into food packaging in 2007.
“We had a desire to increase the amount of recycled HDPE in Nampak’s bottles to up to 30% by 2015 - in line with the Dairy UK and Defra Milk Roadmap targets – but have been able to prove that this landmark can be reached well ahead of this schedule.
“All of our bottles, including the Infini range, currently contain up to 15% but the move to up to 30% is a major step forward for everyone involved in the British milk industry.
“We’re delighted that we are regularly recognised for our achievements in the packaging industry and the recent win of silver for sustainability at the WorldStar Awards is a fantastic global achievement and one that we’re very proud of.”
Chris Dow, CEO, Closed Loop Recycling said: ““We are pleased to extend this long term relationship, which we have enjoyed over a number of years. The 30% recycled content news proves the success of the recycled milk bottle market and the dairy roadmap.”
Recent figures from Recoup, the recycling charity, show that 77% of HDPE milk bottles are recycled, making it one of the most widely recycled forms of packaging in the country.