Heinz is topping its Tomato Ketchup squeezy bottles with a ‘100% recyclable’ cap in a move set to make the whole pack compatible with standard kerbside collection and ensure that 300 million plastic caps are recycled every year.

Expected to roll out in August, the mono-material cap is designed for easy recycling and is said to deliver the same squeeze functionality as the previous design. It replaces the flexible silicone valve of the standard cap, which posed a challenge to its recyclability.

Furthermore, a study conducted by Heinz in 2020 suggests that the new cap helps consumers squeeze more ketchup out of the bottle when it is nearly empty.

A ‘100% recyclable’ message on the cap will identify bottles incorporating the new design. Its introduction expects to divert caps away from landfill and contribute towards The Kraft Heinz Company’s wider goal of reducing its consumption of virgin plastic by 20% by 2030 – as well as making all its packaging recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2025.

“We know our consumers care about their impact on the environment and so do we, which is why we’re delighted to see our innovative, more sustainable caps on Heinz Tomato Ketchup bottles across the UK,” said Jojo de Noronha, president of Kraft Heinz Northern Europe. “Although a small change, this makes it easy for the millions of Heinz lovers across the country to recycle their whole squeezy bottle at once – a small action with big potential for impact.”

Adam Herriott, senior sector specialist at WRAP, added: “We fully support this innovation from Heinz and welcome this packaging development. All products and packaging have an impact on the environment.

“Whilst prevention or elimination of packaging in the first instance would be the ideal scenario (and at the top of the hierarchy), packaging plays an important, practical and convenient role. Therefore, the next step is to look at ensuring as much of it is recyclable, reusable or compostable as possible.

“Through the UK Plastics Pact, our members have made some groundbreaking changes and introduced new innovations to ensure we are reusing, recycling, refilling and composting as much as possible. There is a lot of work still to be done to ensure we reach our targets and have circularity when it comes to this material.”

Initially, the new caps will be rolled out for 400ml and bigger top-down bottles of Heinz Tomato Ketchup and its 50% Less Sugar and Salt varieties. They are expected to be incorporated into Heinz’s wider sauce range across the UK and Europe in the future.

Earlier this summer, Asda became the latest in a line of retailers to introduce clear caps for its own-label fresh milk packaging. The transition expects to enable the recycling of 207 million plastic milk caps every year.

Alternatively, Arla Foods is seeking a 500-tonne annual reduction of plastic by producing a fibre-based cap for its milk cartons in collaboration with Blue Ocean Closures.

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