Waitrose permanently removes coloured caps on milk

Waitrose has announced the trial to replace blue, green and red milk caps on its own brand HDPE milk bottles with clear caps has been successful and will become a permanent move in all of the retailer’s stores.

The permanent shift to colourless caps will take immediate effect on Essential Waitrose milk bottles across all 331 stores and online.

The move comes after Waitrose partnered with dairy company Müller in April 2022, to switch out the coloured caps as they cannot currently be recycled back into food grade packaging.

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According to Müller, over half of shoppers use bottle cap colour to choose their milk in-store, while others opt for colours of the signage.

As a result, Waitrose has redesigned the milk bottle’s label art to add more colour to inform customers’ milk choice selection in-store.

Colourless caps will be featured on Essential Waitrose milk bottles, which account for around 44% of the retailer’s milk sales.

The bottles themselves, produced by Müller, are 100% recyclable and contain up to 40% food-grade recyclable material.

Waitrose also added that the demand for rHDPE outstrips supply, meaning the introduction of colourless caps will allow them to be recycled alongside the bottles in a ‘closed loop’ system.

“Milk is one of our best-selling products, so to be able to bring this packaging improvement to an everyday essential across all of our stores is fantastic,” Waitrose milk buyer Lisa Oaten said.

“Partner and customer feedback during the trial has been overwhelmingly positive and this national rollout will help us achieve our goal of making more of the plastic we use circular and fit to be repurposed time and time again.”

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