26 February 2020 by James Langley

Biffa seals plastics deal with Müller UK

Biffa has won a contract to supply dairy company Müller UK with food grade recycled High-Density Polyethylene (rHDPE) plastic to be used in all its milk bottles.

Continuing a working relationship which began in 2016, the contract began in November 2019 as Müller UK looks to meet the obligations set in the UK’s Dairy Roadmap.

Biffa is to supply Müller UK with plastic from its Redcar plant

The length and value of the contract, deemed commercially sensitive, are undisclosed, as are the tonnages involved. However, the partnership was described to letsrecycle.com by a Biffa spokesperson as “long-term”.

Chris Hanlon, commercial manager at Biffa Polymers, said: “We are delighted to help Müller UK improve its usage of high-quality food grade recycled plastic.

“We are a trusted partner for dairy manufacturers and are committed to supporting them achieve their sustainability targets with innovative, industry leading technologies.”

Müller UK says it uses up to 40% recycled plastic in its bottles.

The rHDPE plastic will be created at Biffa’s Redcar facility, which was opened in 2008.

With a minimum recycled content tax set to be introduced soon(see letsrecycle.com story), there is a growing demand for recycled plastic. To this end, Biffa is to open a £27.5m recycling plant in Seaham, County Durham, for PET plastics (see letsrecycle.com story).

The Seaham plant is expected to have the capacity to process 57,000 tonnes a year.

Roadmap

The UK’s Dairy Roadmap, which is produced by trade association Dairy UK, includes farmers, retailers, dairy manufacturers, government and industry partners.

Müller UK says it uses up to 40% recycled plastic in its bottles

It defines targets and produces regular reports on progress the industry makes on environmental issues.

A target had been set for the inclusion of 30% rHDPE in milk bottles by 2015.

While the two firms did not officially go into partnership until 2016, Biffa indirectly helped Müller UK achieve this target in 2015, supplying the dairy company with plastic which included 31% recycled content in 2014 through a supplier.

A target of 50% recycled material in HDPE milk bottles or the equivalent carbon reduction had been set for 2020.

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