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Tesco Switches to Recyclable Clear Milk Caps

British shoppers at Tesco will soon see changes across its Tesco-owned Brand milk – as the supermarket works with suppliers to make milk bottles even easier to recycle.

By removing colored plastic and changing blue, red and green milk caps to a clear alternative – on around 425 million bottles of milk every year – Tesco is improving the quality of recovered material from household waste and enabling the cap to be recycled back into milk bottles. Customers are encouraged to squash or crush empty bottles, replacing the original lid before recycling to ensure it is not lost or discarded.

Colored plastic currently needs to be processed separately from clear packaging, and so this simple change means that each year 3,900 extra tons of recycled plastic can go back into making new bottles, a process which can be repeated every time a customer recycles it.

The move will be seen in all Tesco stores, and across 4-pint, 2-pint, and 1-pint bottles of milk. Different variants of milk – whole, semi-skimmed, and skimmed – will still be clearly identifiable, thanks to colored block labels around the main bottle.

James Waddy, Category Director for Dairy, said: “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. 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.”

Tesco follows its 4Rs strategy when it comes to plastic and packaging – aiming to remove plastic where it can, reduce where it can’t, reuse more, and recycle what’s left. Earlier this month, the supermarket announced a trial of fresh mince ‘pillow packs’, which use 70% less plastic and are fully recyclable at in-store soft plastic collection points.

To date, Tesco has removed around 2.2 billion pieces of plastic from its UK business, including:

  • 200+ million bags from Tesco.com deliveries
  • 100+ million extra lids from products such as wipes, creams, yogurts, and desserts
  • 33 million pieces of plastic from bakery bread and doughnuts

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By Published On: August 23rd, 2023

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About the Author: Christopher Durham

Christopher Durham is the president of the Velocity Institute. Prior to this he founded the groundbreaking site My Private Brand. He is the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He began his retail career building brands at Food Lion and Lowe’s Home Improvement. Durham has worked with retailers around the world, including Albertsons, Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro Canada. Durham has published seven definitive books on private brands, including Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project and Vanguard: Vintage Originals.

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