Plastic milk bottle with 30% recycled content

Following the successful commercial trial of the first batch of HDPE plastic milk bottles containing recycled ingredients, WRAP (The Government Waste and Resource Action Plan) stated that they are already negotiating contracts and plans to provide financial support for this project with recycling potential.

First, the Newport Pagnell plant of Nampak Plastics in the United Kingdom produced 60,000 4-pint plastic bottles containing 30% recycled raw materials. In December last year, the bottled products began to be sold in Marks & Spencer supermarkets. The project lasted for 3 years and was completed by an international team consisting of Nampak Plastics Dairy, Dairy Crest Fraunhofer Institute, Sorema, Erema and Nextek, because the project already had the foundation of the early research of Linwood Foods. The trial only required a large amount of The data to prove that the product meets the safety requirements of food packaging. WRAP stated that packages containing recycled materials do not produce harmful chemical reactions. The retailer M&S announced that they have confirmed that there is no difference between bottles containing recycled ingredients and bottles of raw materials.

During the production process, the old bottles were first classified by infrared detectors, and then HDPE bottles were hand-picked, broken into small pieces, and soaked in a caustic solution of 2% at 93° C. to remove dirt and paper from the surface. Labels and adhesives are then dried to pieces, sorted by color, and finally entered a "super clean" step, where the treated polymer can reach a food grade. Nampak will add 30% of recycled raw materials to the original HDPE material to produce polyethylene milk bottles.

Paul Davidson, WRAP's plastics technology manager, said, "The large-scale trials have dispelled people's concerns about recyclable bottles and proved that the milk bottles containing recycled materials made in this way are as good as 100% raw material milk bottles in every respect. They meet all relevant standards concerning safety, manufacturing, filling, transportation and consumer acceptance. We hope that milk bottles containing recycled plastics will become more and more popular on the shelves of British supermarkets."

James Crick, Business Director at Nampak, said: “Although the major technical difficulty comes from the super cleaning process, the raw materials the manufacturer receives are super-cleaned HDPE pellets, but there is still a certain degree of technology in the production of recycled bottles. We look forward to further progress in this technology and are very concerned about the results of WRAP's contract negotiations.There is no doubt that the UK has enough renewable resources, but the question is whether there are enough producers willing to invest in equipment for the production of recycled products."