In what is being described as a world first by WRAP, the trial involved the production of 60,000 recycled content milk bottles for commercial sale using post-consumer scrap bottles to recycle them back into milk bottles.
It is the result of a three-year project and builds on early research by Linwood Foods and was initiated and funded by WRAP. It also involved Nampak Plastics, Dairy Crest, the Fraunhofer Institute, Sorema, Erema and Nextek as well as co-operation with the Food Standards Agency.
WRAP chief executive Jennie Price said: This is a major breakthrough for UK recycling. Incorporating recycled plastic into everyday products like milk bottles is vital if we are to gain the maximum environmental benefit from recycling, and is great news for the growing numbers of people who are recycling their plastic bottles.
After extensive testing to ensure compliance with food packaging legislation, the project team worked with Marks & Spencer and produced and filled 60,000 4pt milk bottles containing 30% recycled content. These went on sale in M&S stores in December last year with no difference noticed by consumers compared to bottles produced with virgin materials.