Getting a handle on plastic

WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) is supporting Dairy Crest in a project to research, design and pilot a new handle-free plastic milk bottle, as part of a drive to reduce packaging waste from UK milk sales by 5,000 tonnes per annum.

This project will focus on one pint and two pint bottles. Packaging supplier Nampak will be responsible for developing the prototype high density polyethylene (HDPE) handle-free bottle.

Commenting on the trial, Peter Skelton of the WRAP Retail Team said,“Nampak and Dairy Crest aim to achieve a 10% reduction in weight with the new bottle, which will set a new standard for the milk industry.

He added,“Plastic milk bottles are probably the most common plastic item found in household waste and manufacturers and brand owners have taken the current
handled designs as far as they can go in terms of lightweighting – the vital next step is perfecting a handle-free design which works for the consumer. This project is the first phase in a much larger project with the dairy industry.

Richard Pryor, innovations controller at Dairy Crest said:“We know consumers need a handle on the large four pint milk bottles but this project is to understand just how much of a necessity handles are on the smaller one and two pint bottles.
If the new handle-free HDPE bottle is adopted, 1,250 tonnes of plastic will be diverted from the household waste stream per year.

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