To date, dairy processors have met all their sustainability targets to date, including a minimum 10% recycled plastic in milk bottles.

However the industry’s next step is to increase this figure to 30% – and this relies on an adequate source of recycled plastic which is in scant supply, according to trade association Dairy UK.

Dairy UK director general, Jim Begg, said: “We need more and more recycled plastic and what we need to see is a recycling revolution with a major expansion of the operations of existing recycling companies and the creation of new firms which will deliver the materials we will need.

“Just as we are upping our game, we need the recycling industry to up theirs and provide us with the materials that will enable us to achieve our ambitious next set of targets.”

According to figures announced by Defra today, in 2010 more than 70% of milk bottles purchased in the UK were recovered for recycling and more than 12,000 tonnes of plastic was recycled into fresh bottles.

Maxine Perella

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