clear caps 2

Source: Müller Milk & Ingredients

The company will have a reduced dependency on virgin plastic of more than 1,500 tonnes each year

Müller Milk & Ingredients has successfully switched all its coloured milk bottle caps to clear alternatives.

The move means the company will have reduced its dependency on virgin plastic by more than 1,500 tonnes each year.

Müller began converting coloured caps in November 2022 and the process has now been completed with all own label and branded milk produced by the dairy giant carrying the clear caps.

Coloured caps cannot be recycled back into food grade packaging so by switching all caps to clear Müller can retain the material to make new caps and bottles within the food sector.

Müller’s milk bottles are already made within its supply chain to eliminate the need for the road transport of empty bottles. They are fully recyclable and made of at least 30% recycled material (rHDPE).

Demand for rHDPE has outstripped supply, so the brand said by moving to a “closed loop system”, it would increase the material’s availability on the market by 1,560 tonnes per annum.

“Our milk bottles are 100% recyclable and we’re proud of the work we’ve done to date in increasing the recycled plastic content in these bottles, but we wanted to do more to increase sustainable practices within the dairy industry,” said Müller Milk & Ingredients CEO Rob Hutchison.

“Research carried out prior to our initial trial showed the vast majority of shoppers support the change to clear caps, so we know it’s just as important for consumers as well as our customers,” he added.

Arla announced similar plans to switch to clear milk bottle caps in June, with the transition starting that month.

“As the UK’s largest dairy co-operative, we are committed to our climate journey and focused on reducing emissions throughout production, transport and logistics, packaging, and on farm,” said Catriona Mantle, Arla head of milk, organic and yoghurt, at the time.

Müller’s retailer partners including M&S, Aldi, Lidl and Waitrose, plus rival processor Freshways have all also committed to the same change.

“We are proud to have led this industry change and will continue to look for more sustainable packaging solutions, ensuring we play our part in delivering a better future for British dairy,” said Müller’s Hutchison.