Milk bottle caps

Tesco is removing coloured plastic from its milk bottle caps in a move which it claims will create a new closed loop for almost 4,000 tonnes of plastic.

The supermarket said it was scrapping blue, red and green milk caps and other colours currently used, and replacing them with a clear alternative.

The move will involve around 425 million bottles of milk every year. Tesco said it would improve the quality of recovered material from household waste and enable caps to be recycled back into new milk bottles.

Customers will be encouraged to squash or crush empty bottles, replacing the original lid before recycling to ensure it is not lost or discarded.

The move will apply in all Tesco stores across four-pint, two-pint and one-pint bottles of milk. Tesco said different variants of milk – whole, semi-skimmed and skimmed – would still be clearly identifiable, using coloured block labels around the main bottle.

To date, Tesco has removed around 2.2 billion pieces of plastic from its UK business under its ‘4Rs’ strategy.

Earlier this month it announced a trial of fresh mince ‘pillow packs’, which use 70% less plastic and are fully recyclable at in-store soft plastic collection points.

“Ensuring our packaging is as sustainable as possible is really important to us, and customer feedback on our trial of these new clear milk caps has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Tesco dairy category director James Waddy.

“We will continue to look for ways to improve the packaging of our products, and make it even easier for customers to recycle at home.”