Coles to phase out milk bottle seals

In a bid to improve its packaging sustainability goals, Coles has announced it is phasing out leak-proofing bottle seals on its 2-litre and 3-litre home-brand milk cartons following a similar initiative implemented by rival supermarket chain, Woolworths.

The announcement follows Woolworths’ announcement early last month it was expanding nationally its move to remove coloured milk lids and replacing them with clear lids for recyclable purposes.

Coles reports its new seal-less cartons will remove 10,000kg of plastic from circulation nationally.

The seals sit below the cap with the functional role of preventing leaks. Customers peeled them off before pouring the milk.

A Coles spokesperson said the caps were no longer necessary after design upgrades.

“Coles is always looking for ways to reduce unnecessary plastic from circulation, and while our seals were originally used to reduce instances of leaking bottles, over time, the packaging design of both the bottle and the lid has improved, and the seals are no longer required,” the spokesperson said.

“This decision to no longer require seals on Coles milk will see more than 10,000kg of plastic removed from circulation when this packaging change is completed nationally.

“While some of our suppliers have commenced this transition, not all processing sites have, and we will be working on the implementation of this change with each state when suitable.

The change will make Coles home brand milk 100 per cent recyclable.

“Thanks to enhancements in our bottle and cap designs, seals are no longer required, making our milk bottles recycled,” the sign read, in a picture posted on X.

The move has sparked debates online, with sustainable packaging entrepreneur Tony Rubenstein dubbing it the Lid War on Linked In.

“Both retailers announced subtle changes to their private label milk bottles lids, theoretically making them easier to recycle and at the same time delivering a higher grade of recyclate,” said Rubenstein.

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