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Nampak Plastics is one the UK’s leading manufacturers of HDPE milk bottles, producing 2 billion a year. It is also part of the project team which led to the development of the world’s first recycled content HDPE plastic milk bottle through bottle to bottle recycling.

The Challenge

Packaging materials have been under intense environmental scrutiny by the retail chain in response to Government initiatives and regulation. Consumers are also increasingly adding pressure through their influence on packaging choices, often without detailed understanding of the environmental issues concerned. Our client was therefore keen to demonstrate to its target audiences that HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) is a sustainable packaging material for milk bottles with an excellent environmental performance record.

Our response

Proteus’ communications strategy was informed by an analysis of the issues affecting Nampak and identifying the main decision makers on retail packaging and their influencers. The target audiences were defined as retailers, dairy industry stakeholders and Government, with a secondary audience of the consumer. The fact that recycled content could be added to milk bottles was an essential strategic message for audiences to understand. Proteus’ communications strategy therefore demonstrated the need to recycle more HDPE so it can be included in new milk bottles; that with increasing recycled content, the environmental impact of HDPE milk bottles was significantly enhanced; and that HDPE was fit for purpose in terms of material use, and preferred by consumers.


Within the first six months of the programme, the following deliverables were achieved:

James Crick, Nampak Business Development Director says “Before we appointed Proteus, we had not worked with a PR agency previously and were unsure what to expect. Within six months of appointment, we have already achieved substantial media profile and greater awareness of our environmental initiatives amongst key stakeholders. Proteus’ ability to quickly understand the industry and devise and implement a relevant strategy and communications plan was instrumental in securing the success we have had to date, and is the foundation for future activity.”