Boring® bottles have sleeves so we can add product information to the bottle (the bottles are blown on the line so can’t be printed on), but more importantly, its function is to help protect the milk from UV light. The good news is that we're working with our supplier to develop alternative sleeve materials, one possibility is a PET sleeve with washable inks that can be recycled together with the bottle before recycling, but for now we ask that customers separate the sleeve first.
Because it’s the best of a bad bunch sorta situation. Would you like to know more? Read on; We chose clear PET (plastic grade 1) as it is the most recyclable option for longlife milk containers in Aotearoa as all councils accept packaging made from PET (and HDPE – plastic grade 2) in household or free drop-off collection points*. 97% of New Zealanders have access to facilities to recycle plastics 1 (PET), which our bottles are made from. These types of plastic are widely accepted in kerbside recycling and free drop-off points because there are high volumes of these materials and they are easily recycled and turned into other useful products, both in New Zealand and offshore. If the plastic is of high quality, it can be recycled back into the same product e.g. drink bottles can be recycled back into drink bottles. Plastics 1 and 2 can be recycled an estimated six to seven times before no longer being recyclable. This is unfortunately not the case for other popular plant milk packaging such as Tetra Pak. These types of cartons are typically made up of multiple layers – paperboard, aluminium and polyethylene plastic – which makes them extremely complex to recycle. Tetra Pak is unable to be recycled but only downcycled into products such as roofing tiles and decking, which currently there is little demand for. The infrastructure to process Tetra Pak is not developed in Aotearoa New Zealand with the majority of spent cartons either sent to landfill or overseas to be downcycled. It’s estimated that between 60-70% of Tetra Pak is sent to landfill worldwide. Why not glass? For all its ‘good’, glass has high carbon emissions – for example a glass bottle must be reused 20 times to make its carbon footprint comparable with a recycled PET bottle. This is part of the reason why a number of craft beer breweries are now moving away from glass to aluminum cans. Additionally glass isn’t as sterile (aseptic) as PET, so our milk would need to be chilled and would only have a 30-day shelf life. The shorter shelf life would create greater food waste and would also mean higher emissions through chilled freight and refrigeration. That said, we are exploring ways to offset our use of plastic packaging and ultimately are committed to removing our reliance on using fossil fuels. As part of this, we’re aiming to move to Recycled PET (rPET) bottles and sustainable sugarcane caps in the near future. It’s a journey and we are trying our best to find out what is really the most sustainable solution. *Chatham Islands is a unique snowflake as it only accepts plastic code 1, not 1 and 2.
First, tear the sleeve off the bottle and place in your rubbish. Then rinse the empty bottle (PET - Grade 1) and pop into your kerbside recycling and for now, put your cap in the rubbish. If you are in Auckland you can replace the cap (HDPE - Grade 2) to recycle with your bottle, as Auckland has the infrastructure to recycle the bottle and cap together.