Asda is the latest to make the move after Lidl, Sainsbury’s, Aldi and Waitrose did last year.
Asda, the UK’s largest supermarket chain, has announced that it will replace the coloured caps on its own-label milk bottles with clear caps. The change is part of Asda’s commitment to sustainability and will help to increase the amount of milk bottle caps that are recycled.
Currently, milk bottle caps in the UK are coloured to indicate the type of milk inside the bottle. For example, green caps indicate semi-skimmed milk, blue caps indicate whole milk, and red caps indicate skimmed milk. However, the colour of the cap can make it difficult to recycle the caps, as they can contaminate other recyclable plastics.
The new clear caps will be made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is a type of plastic that is easily recyclable. The caps will also contain 30% recycled material, which will help to reduce the amount of virgin plastic that is used.
Asda and Arla, the UK’s largest dairy cooperative, have partnered to roll out clear milk bottle caps in June 2023. The change will affect all Asda-branded milk, including Yeo Valley fresh milk. Customers will still be able to distinguish between the different varieties of milk by the coloured labelling on the bottles.
Customers will still be able to distinguish between the different varieties of milk by the coloured labelling on the bottles. For example, semi-skimmed milk will still have a green label, whole milk will still have a blue label, and skimmed milk will still have a red label.
Asda’s decision to replace the coloured caps on its milk bottles is a positive step towards increasing recycling rates in the UK. The change will help to ensure that more milk bottle caps are recycled and that less plastic ends up in landfill.
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.”
Catriona Mantle, Head of Milk, Organic and Yogurt at Arla, said: “As the UK’s largest dairy cooperative, we are committed to our climate journey at Arla and are focussed on reducing emissions throughout production, transport and logistics, packaging, and on farm. 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 – Plastics, WRAP “We applaud Asda on their decision to join the growing group of UK retailers who are removing pigments from their milk bottle caps. 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. An exemplary step in developing a circular economy for plastics.”