Ineos said a collaboration with Lactel, a Lactalis brand, is another step in this direction.
Advanced recycling technology converts waste plastic back to its basic molecules which are then used in Ineos production sites to include recycled contents and replace traditional fossil-based raw materials.
Lactel is the first dairy brand, in collaboration with Ineos, to explore a solution for UHT milk bottles produced with circular polyethylene, derived from post-consumer recycled material.
“This trial production of 140,000 milk bottles, based on HDPE from advanced recycling technology, is a world first and a major step forward for Lactel towards a circular economy,” said Anne Charles-Pinault, Lactel France general manager.
“This new innovative product will be used in the Montauban production plant for an initial production run. At Lactel we are extremely excited to bring this new environmental innovation to our iconic milk bottles.”
Xavi Cros, CEO Ineos Olefins & Polymers Europe/South, said, “INEOS is very pleased to progress this partnership with Lactel. Both companies are committed to sustainability and, via advanced recycling, we are able to supply virgin quality polymer from recycled plastic that is ideal for even the most demanding food contact applications like milk. Another big step in the right direction.”
After an independent certification process, initiated several months ago, Lactel’s Montauban plant was RSB (Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials) certified in April 2021. The milk bottles produced in this way are compliant with food safety regulations and are fully recyclable.
In addition to being 100% recyclable, Lactel milk bottles are produced directly in the dairy factories, to limit the CO2 emissions from transporting empty bottles. This also allows the brand to integrate 30% of plastic from pre-consumer waste, recovered and recycled directly on its production sites.
Since its launch 30 years ago, the thickness of the bottle has been reduced. It now weighs 9% less than it did originally, saving the equivalent of 29m bottles per year. In 2016, Lactel was the first brand to use a collation film made of 20% recycled plastic on its entire Lactel organic range.