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UK-based retailer Co-operative Food has announced to reduce the tint in all of its own-brand plastic coloured milk bottle tops.

The retailer, which sells 202 million bottles of milk every year, claims that the move will make it easier to recycle the tops into new bottles.

As part of the initiative, Co-op will increase the recycled content of plastic milk bottles from 10% to 30%. The increase will help produce an extra 4,500t of recyclable material every year, the retailer claimed.

The Co-operative Food environment manager Iain Ferguson was quoted by as saying that protecting the environment is a key part of the company’s ethical plan, and it has completed the move on all of its own-brand milk bottles.

According to UK Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) research, tint reduction in the milk bottle tops can help achieve higher recycled content in milk bottles, and reduce the use of virgin plastic, ensuring efficient use of resources.

In March 2011, Co-op announced plans to reduce the packaging of its own-brand cordial range by around 40% by switching to double concentrate squash from the ordinary, in order to save 83t of packaging weight a year, resulting in savings of 337t of CO2 annually.

Since 2006, the firm has managed to reduce its operational carbon emissions by 20%, and is aiming to increase this to 35% by 2017, as part of its ethical plan.

Additionally, it has attained a 15% weight reduction in packaging, and is looking at reducing the environmental impact by 10% by 2012.


Image: British retailer Co-op plans to increase the recycled content of plastic milk bottles from 10% to 30%. Photo: The Co-operative Group