The new HDPE bottle (high-density polyethylene) is made from sugar cane grown in Brazil and shaped in New Zealand.
Although the introduction is a step towards Fonterra’s ambition to have all its retail packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025, this HDPE bottle is not biodegradable.
Instead it can be recycled through household collection along with the fossil-fuel plastics.
Fonterra Brands managing director Brett Henshaw says the sugar cane raw material is natural, renewable and sustainably sourced.
It captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, resulting in a bottle that has a low carbon footprint.
“We know sustainability is important to New Zealanders and we want to offer consumers an option to make change for good. This plant-based milk bottle is an important component in Fonterra’s wider sustainability strategy,” he said.
“We have also committed to moving towards renewable energy in transport and manufacturing and finding ways to manage and reduce our emissions over the whole supply chain.”
Anchor Blue Top Milk will be sold at the rate of 300,000 two-litre new bottles per month for the North Island and the option may be extended to other milk varieties and locations depending on consumer response.
A Fonterra spokesperson says the premium payable would be about 25c a bottle, but that retail prices were set by supermarkets, convenience stores and dairies.
Recycling was the preferred sustainability pathway at present because of the widespread infrastructure whereas commercial composting was not available to members of the public on the same scale.