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Müller to remove all plastic straws by 2020

Press release   •   Nov 20, 2019 09:03 GMT

School children at Sunnyside Primary School in Glasgow have been helping Müller to become the first dairy company in the UK to offer fresh school milk with paper straws.

After contacting the dairy company and presenting their concerns about the environmental impact of plastic straws in 2018, Müller has committed to removing all plastic straws from its products by 2020.

The school accepted an offer to work with the dairy company to trial Müller’s new paper straw, which is attached to their recyclable school milk cartons.

Having already removed 10,000 tonnes of plastic from Müller Milk bottles since 2016, the initiative builds upon Müller’s continued work to drive down plastic use. Müller’s fresh and flavoured milk bottles are 100% recyclable, and having secured appropriate supplies of recycled HDPE, up to 40% of the plastic in Müller’s fresh milk bottles is made from recycled material. The dairy company has also removed a further 700 tonnes of plastic per annum by lightweighting it’s recyclable fresh milk bottles and milk caps.

Müller’s new paper straw is fully recyclable, it has been developed in partnership with Tetra Pak over the last 18 months and is made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paperboard.

The company is currently undertaking further trials at its Bridgwater site, using the new paper straws.

If successful, Bridgwater will begin the permanent roll out of the paper straws by the end of March 2020. Müller’s other school milk producing sites would follow by the end of 2020, eliminating 48 tonnes of plastic every year.

Lisa Perrie, Principal Teacher at Sunnyside Primary School said:

“It is wonderful for our young conservationists to get their hands on a product first discussed between the Sunnyside Ocean Defenders and Müller over eighteen months ago.

“Müller keeping the children up to date on developments not only shows our young people that their opinion is valued, but that companies like Müller can be the change in reducing the impact of single use plastic. Our Ocean Defenders appreciate that this took time, investment and quite a bit of elbow grease from the Müller team, but the quality of the product today shows that this hard work has paid off. Our pupils loved it!”

Gareth Budd, Head of Customer Innovation at Müller Milk & Ingredients said:

“We’ve already removed 10,000 tonnes of plastic from our packaging in recent years, our fresh milk bottles are 100% recyclable, and they contain up to 40% recycled material.

“But to ensure that future generations continue to benefit from the goodness of fresh school milk, we recognise the need to continually innovate and update our packaging.

“The pupils at Sunnyside Primary School have a real passion for positive change, and were an inspiration. We thank them for their valued participation in the trial, and now we’re fully focused on removing all plastic straws from our school milk by the end of 2020.”

Charles Brand, President of Tetra Pak Europe & Central Asia said:

“It is important that we launch a sustainable paper straw that is fully functional, recyclable and does not compromise on food safety. We also recognise our responsibility to provide sustainable solutions to our customers that will enable us, as a collective, to move towards a low carbon circular economy.

“We believe this trial is a fantastic way to truly test and receive feedback, and it’s great to receive such a positive reaction to using the new paper straws. We are happy to work together with Müller to roll out paper straws and help them realise their commitment to drive down plastic.”

Müller UK & Ireland is wholly owned by Unternehmensgruppe Theo Müller which employs 24,000 people throughout Europe. In the UK, Müller develops, manufactures and markets a wide range of branded and private label dairy products made with milk from more than 1,600 British farmers.

The Müller brand is ranked at No.9 in The Grocer’s Top 100 list of Britain’s Biggest Brands, and is also the 8th most chosen brand in the UK, picked from shelves more than 217 million times each year. Müller UK & Ireland comprises three business units:

Müller Milk & Ingredients is Britain’s largest producer of branded and private label fresh milk, cream, butter and ingredients products, with a network of dairies and depots servicing customers throughout the country.

Müller Yogurt & Desserts is the UK’s leading yogurt manufacturer responsible for major brands like Müllerlight, Müller Corner and Müller Rice. It produces chilled desserts under licence from Mondelez International and supplies the UK private label yogurt market from a dedicated, state of the art yogurt facility.

Milk & More delivers daily essentials to more than 500,000 homes in England, via a network of 53 local fulfilment centres. The milkman is arguably the original home delivery service and Milk & More is ensuring that this great British tradition continues to flourish.

Müller is an Official Supporter of British Athletics and Athletics Ireland. With branding and activation rights for five events in 2019, Müller aims to empower consumers to make active and healthy lifestyle choices.

For further information, see Müller Now, our first ever industry report.