IRELAND – Dairy processing co-operative, Lakeland Dairies has rolled out new clear caps for its 2-liter and 3-liter milk cartons on the iconic Champion brand as well as for retailers’ brands.
The traditional red or blue coloured carton tops cannot be easily recycled into food-grade packaging. Therefore, replacing colored milk caps with clear caps makes it easier to recycle and helps reduce color contamination with high-density PE.
This is the latest in a line of commitments made by Lakeland Dairies to reduce the environmental impact of retail milk packaging.
In 2017, Lakeland Dairies reduced the weight of the two-liter bottles by 10%. In 2020, Lakeland Dairies reduced the weight of the three-liter bottles by 4%.
This was followed by the introduction of 20% recycled material into bottles in 2021. The bottles, caps and sleeves are now 100% recyclable and are widely recycled in Ireland and the UK.
Separately, in 2020, Lakeland Dairies became the first to market with an innovative and pioneering paper straw for our market-leading range of VIVA flavoured milk.
In addition to shaking up the sector with eco-friendly alternatives, the 100% recyclable straw has saved an equivalent of 20 tonnes of plastic since 2020.
Speaking about the move to replace coloured milk carton caps with clear ones, Tommy O’Donaghue, Head of Consumer Foods with Lakeland Dairies, said: “Lakeland Dairies has a long tradition of innovation and serving the needs of our loyal customers while doing so in harmony with nature.
“We take our responsibility of sustainability producing safe, healthy and nutritious milk extremely seriously.
“Across all our two-liter and three-liter cartons produced for retailers as well as our iconic and market-leading Champion brand, we are playing a real leadership role in reducing unrecyclable plastic from the supply chain.”
Dale Farm ditches coloured caps
Similarly, in May, Dale Farm, a dairy processor in Northern Ireland switched from coloured caps for clear ones on its milk containers to clear ones.
The move by Dale Farm on all its own branded and own-label milk has made the company’s milk packaging more recyclable.
With headquarters in Belfast, Dale Farm is a dairy co-op owned by 1,300 farmers handling around a billion liters of milk per year.
It is estimated that the switch will return nearly 60 million caps, which equates to around 72 tonnes, to food-grade packaging each year.
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