Recyclers Milk Bottle Market at Record Level

The following article appeared in Plastics & Rubber Weekly, a Plastics News Global Group Site on November 8, 2011.  The article discusses the increase in recycling of HDPE milk bottles in the United Kingdom.  The UK is significantly ahead of us here in the United States when it comes to including recycled HDPE in their milk bottles.  Greenstar, Closed Loop Recycling and Nampak (among others) are working together to include up to 50% recycled food grade HDPE back into milk bottles.  At this point in time, there are no milk bottles in the U.S. that contain recycled plastic.  EcoPrime™, the only FDA approved, food grade recycled HDPE for use in direct food contact applications in North America is now available to fulfill that need.  Visit http://www.envisionplastics.com/ecoprime.html to learn more about how EcoPrime™ can be used to reduce our use of virgin plastics, save energy and improve the sustainability of HDPE packaging in most food applications.

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Posted in Plastics & Rubber Weekly – 8 November 2011

By Anthony Clark

HDPE milk bottle recycling rates in the UK are up

The UK’s HDPE milk bottle recycling rate has reached an all time high, according to latest industry study.

The annual recycling study from Recoup shows that 76% of HDPE milk bottles consumed and collected in the UK during 2010 were recycled – a steady rise on 2009’s figure of 72%, following the substantial jump from 57% in 2008.

The report, which identifies recycling rates of all plastic bottle types, revealed that a total of 281,000 tonnes of plastic bottles were collected for recycling in 2010, with HDPE milk bottles representing a third of this total, or 93,000 tonnes.

This continued annual rise can be attributed to the growth of kerbside collections, with 21.7 million UK households now having access to a plastic kerbside collection. An estimated 83% of all household plastic bottles are collected for recycling via this route.

Despite the sustained rise in the number of HDPE milk bottles being recycled, an estimated 22,700 tonnes of HDPE milk bottles were still landfilled in 2010. This material is expected to cost £1.8m in landfill costs, and has a potential recyclable sales value of £8m.

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