The cardboard milk bottle that could curb growth of landfill sites

A A A

A milk bottle made out of cardboard could solve one of the small nuisances of modern life and prevent thousands of tons of plastic from being dumped in landfill every year.

Few of the bulky two and four-litre plastic bottles of milk found in modern kitchens are recycled; 93 per cent are thrown out with the household rubbish.

Now a British inventor has developed an alternative - a recycled cardboard bottle called the Greenbottle. A biodegradable bag inside the cardboard contains the milk and ensures the bottle does not go soggy.

Once the milk has been drunk, the cardboard can be put out for recycling along with newspapers and magazines (providing the council accepts cardboard).

Martin Myerscough, the bottle's inventor from Framlingham, Suffolk, has been developing the product for the past 18 months after coming up the idea in the pub. He has now reached agreement with Asda, which has been trialling the bottles at a Lowestoft store, for the same price as conventional bottles.

Although the cardboard bottles cost about 30 per cent more to produce than plastic bottles, Mr Myerscough believes the price will even out when they get to higher production runs. If the bottles prove popular, Asda could roll them out nationwide in an attempt to cut the three-million tons of plastic that is thrown away in the UK annually.

More than 100,000 tons of that plastic comes from milk bottles; equivalent to the weight of 260 jumbo jets. They take 500 years to decompose. Laminated milk cartons are also frequently thrown away and are made from trees rather than recycled materials.

Mr Myerscough, who has applied for a patent, said: "It's always bothered me that consumers have had to buy milk in plastic bottles that are difficult to recycle. The new design ensures that the packaging protects the milk and yet can easily be recycled easing the pressure on landfill, which is becoming limited and expensive. Plastic milk bottles could become a thing of the past."

The entrepreneur came up with the idea while talking to an employee from the local waste dump in a pub a year ago. "I asked him what the tip was full of and he said: 'Plastic bottles. People drink the milk and throw them away. The tip is full of fresh air'."

With a background in mechanical engineering, Mr Myerscough decided to tackle the problem and found ready backing at the local dairy, Marybelle, which supplies Asda.

James Strachan, Marybell's executive director, believed that local milk in a recyclable bottle would be popular with customers.

"I don't think it will be long before we're only using Greenbottles nationwide," he said.

Asda, which intends to reduce packaging by 25 per cent, also considers the product attractive.

"Greenbottle delivers a win-win for supermarkets and consumers in our collective effort to reduce the environmental footprint," said Chris Brown, Asda's head of sourcing.

* Waitrose is to stop handing out free plastic bags at its shop in Saffron Walden, Essex, for the next two weeks. Instead, customers will be asked to reuse old carriers and shopping bags.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
News
Jermain Defoe got loads of custard
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C#.NET Server Side Developer (C#, XML, WCF, Unit Testing,SQL)

£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C#.NET ...

Junior Database developer (SQL, T-SQL, Excel, SSRS)

£20000 - £30000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Junior D...

Helpdesk Team Leader / Manager

£45000 per annum + pension,medical: Ashdown Group: A successful & reputable gl...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born