Christopher Adams

Christopher Adams is the Markets and Banking reporter for the New Zealand Herald

Light-proof milk bottles integrated into recycling system

Anchor's light-proof milk bottles. Photo / Greg Bowker
Anchor's light-proof milk bottles. Photo / Greg Bowker

Anchor says its light-proof milk bottles have been fully integrated into the country's recycling system.

The triple-layer bottles were described as a "world first'' innovation when they hit the market in April.

But the packaging was quickly criticised by some recyclers who said the bottles had a number of drawbacks, including that more energy and resources were required to manufacture them than the single-layer, see-through bottles, making them a lower quality and less sought-after recycling product.

Anchor marketing manager Craig Irwin said the light-proof bottles - which are made of the same HDPE plastic as the previous bottles - had always been recyclable, but the company had now "closed the loop" by matching recycling separators with recycled product manufacturers.

"We have worked with the recycling community to ensure the recycling separators are aware of the opportunities to receive high returns for the new bottles by selling to domestic recycling manufacturers, who say they have more than 100 per cent capacity to use all Anchor bottles, rather than shipping overseas," said Irwin.

Anchor, a division of dairy giant Fonterra, said a number of recycling firms had agreed to use the bottles to make a wide range of products.

In the past Anchor bottles have been used in the production of recycling bins, slip sheets, cable covers, agricultural pipes and drainage coils, the company said.

Fonterra has said the triple-layer bottle prevents light exposure which affected the taste of milk, meaning milk tasted as good on the last day of its 15-day shelf life as on day one.

After the launch some consumers complained they could no longer see how much milk was in the bottles.

- NZ Herald

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