HDPE Categorisation Tool

25th January 2017

This online tool provides guidance to dairies who supply fresh milk in HDPE milk bottles to the UK retailers, in order to help them to maximise the recyclability of the milk bottles they put onto the UK market.

The tool:
Makes separation and reprocessing of HDPE easier and more efficient
Enables you to create a stable and affordable supply of high quality rHDPE
Can save you 1 tonne of CO2 for every 1 tonne of rHDPE used in place of virgin plastics



By designing milk bottles to be as recyclable as possible, the quality and quantity of recycled HDPE (rHDPE) that can be used in new milk bottles is maximised.

This initiative helps the industry achieve the recycled content targets it has set within the Dairy Roadmap (formerly known as the Milk Roadmap). This roadmap aims to increase the use of recycled HDPE (rHDPE) in new milk bottles from 10% in 2010 (achieved), to 30% by 2015 and 50% by 2020.

There are numerous elements of bottle design that affect its recyclability and WRAP has worked with key industry players including the three biggest dairies, UK food grade rHDPE reprocessors, plastic bottle manufacturers and grocery retailers to develop a recyclability categorisation matrix.

This matrix indicates which elements of milk bottle design are ideal (category A, green), not ideal, but not detrimental (category B, amber) or detrimental for recycling (category C, red).

The online tool enables dairies to measure the percentage of their sales that are in category A, B or C; identify which elements are limiting recyclability so that they can be addressed (maximising the percentage of category A bottles); and enables them to measure the recyclability of their bottles against the combined industry benchmark.

Start using the tool >>
User guide >>
Milk bottle pack >> 

Help for dairies

Help for dairies

For dairies, to help you to confidentially calculate your current performance against these recyclability categories please register or login to use the tool.

Note: If your dairy has not yet been set up you will need to create a new account – select the “register/login (dairies only)” option.

Anybody can access the tool to view the recyclability matrix and carry out a “quick check” of a particular design combination to see how recyclable that type of bottle is.

To do this, select the “Quick Check (non-registered users)” or “recyclability categorisation matrix options”.

Where next?

Want to know more about plastics in Dry Materials? Take a look at our reports, guides, tools and case studies for further information:

Reports >>
Guides >>
Tools >>
Case studies >>