Asda changes its milk bottles across all UK stores to cut plastic waste

The supermarket said its own label fresh milk range and Yeo Valley fresh milk will be affected

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Milk bottles with coloured caps will all be changed to clear caps in Asda stores across the UK in a move to cut plastic waste.

The traditional red, green and blue caps will now be clear to allow the milk bottles to be recycled and the new tops will also be made out of 30% recycled plastic.

Asda said the change will affect all of its own label fresh milk range with the switch allowing 207 million plastic caps to be recycled for new milk bottles each year.

Coloured labelling will still remain on milk bottles to help shoppers differentiate between the different types of milk, with red representing skimmed, green indicating semi-skimmed and blue signalling whole milk.

The change has been made in partnership with Arla, the UK’s largest dairy cooperation, and will also affect Yeo Valley fresh milk.

Asda makes major change to its milk bottles across all UK stores. (Photo: Getty Images) Asda makes major change to its milk bottles across all UK stores. (Photo: Getty Images)
Asda makes major change to its milk bottles across all UK stores. (Photo: Getty Images)

The move is part of Asda’s “wider commitment to drive 100% recyclability packaging and increase recycled content levels” across all of its products by 2025.

Fiona Dobson, lead packaging strategy and innovation manager at Asda, said the supermarket is “committed to finding ways to reduce our environmental impact”.

Catriona Mantle, head of milk, organic and yogurt at Arla, added: “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 at WRAP applauded the supermarket’s move on joining the “growing group of UK retailers who are removing pigments from their milk bottle caps”, saying it is an “exemplary step in developing a circular economy for plastics”.

She said: “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.”

The move comes after Aldi also announced it is also ditching coloured milk tops following a successful trial with milk supplier Müller in August last year.

Meanwhile, fellow supermarket Waitorse confirmed in June last year it was ditching red, blue and green milk bottle tops across its Essential range.

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