Anchor closes recycling loop for light-proof milk bottles

Anchor, a division of Fonterra, has announced its new light-proof bottles are now part of a fully closed loop recycling system in New Zealand.

The company released the milk bottles, made from the same HDPE plastic as its predecessor, in April and were considered a world-first as the triple layer keeps light out, helping the milk to stay fresh right throughout its shelf-life, which in the new bottles is 15 days.

However consumers complained that they couldn't see how much milk remained in the bottles after opening them, and recyclers argued that more energy and resources were required to manufacture the bottles, compared to their single-layer counterparts.

Anchor group marketing manager, Craig Irwin, insists the bottles have always been recyclable, but says now recyclers can use 100 percent of recycled Anchor bottles in the manufacture of new products.

"What we’re proud to announce today is that we have closed the loop by lining up 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 percent capacity to use all Anchor bottles, rather than shipping overseas,” he said.

According to an Anchor statement, manufacturers including Astron, Rural Direct, Comspec and Replas have agreed to use recycled Anchor bottles in the manufacture of a wide range of products.

The bottles have already been used in the production of recycling bins, slip sheets, cable covers, agricultural pipes, drainage coils and a new Hungry Bin food composting system.

Environmental manager at Anchor, Nic Bishop, said Kiwis can recycle the new bottles exactly how they always have.

"Kerbside collectors and transfer stations or community recycling stations throughout New Zealand will accept Anchor bottles. The bottles are in demand from New Zealand recycled product manufacturers, who have indicated they will pay around $400 per tonne. We encourage recyclers to take up this offer," he said.


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