Co-op to introduce on-pack ‘freeze me’ message to own brand milk products

In an effort to cut down on 70,000 tonnes of milk wasted each year, the Co-op is introducing a ‘freeze me’ message to its own brand milk products.

Plastic milk containers The new on-pack message will read: “Don’t waste me, freeze me, in a suitable, clean container, then defrost in the fridge, use within 24 hours.” This addition will appear from September 2022.

The food retailer's announcement follows figures from sustainability charity WRAP, which highlight that more than more than £150 million worth of milk is wasted each year. Milk wasted in the home contributes to 90 per cent of this.

Milk is best within one month of freezing – for larger bottles, it is advised to decant them into a container. When the milk is ready to be used, Co-op tells consumers, defrost in the fridge to ‘thaw fully’ and then use within 24 hours.

A recent survey found that 66 per cent of UK adults don’t freeze milk at home and 31 per cent did not know you can freeze milk. After discovering that they can, 34 per cent of those surveyed said they will start freezing it.

Catherine Dishington, environment and sustainability manager at Co-op, said: “We’re committed in reducing our impact on the planet and we’re trying to help our [customers] and members make small changes that collectively, can make an impact.

“Freezing food is one of the easiest ways to make the most out of your weekly shop and prevent food wastage but not everyone knows that it’s perfectly safe to freeze milk. We hope that by having this message on pack it will not only save customers some money, it should also help them to throw away less.”

Estelle Herszenhorn, Strategic Technical Manager at WRAP, added: “It is fantastic to see Co-op, one of WRAP’s Courtauld 2030 signatories, adopting our best practice guidance by introducing freezing messaging to their own brand milk.

“Milk is one of the most wasted food products in the UK so this is a welcome move from the Co-op, demonstrating their commitment to helping people waste less. We encourage people to check out the Love Food Hate Waste website for more ways to make the most of the food you buy, save money and fight climate change.”