At Nestlé Waters North America, we know that recycling is critical to creating a strong and sustainable future. We believe that everyone – from corporate partners to nonprofits, retailers, and consumers – has a role to play in recycling, and we are happy to sponsor America Recycles Day to help promote national recycling efforts.
The impact and rewards of recycling cannot be overstated: people can reduce the overall environmental impact associated with drinking a bottle of water by 25%, just by recycling the bottle after use.
At NWNA, we seek to advance recycling policies so that we can capture and reuse PET beverage containers. While bottled water PET containers make up less than one percent of all U.S. municipal solid waste – and the recycling rate for PET plastic bottled water containers has nearly doubled in six years – we need to do more to ensure these and all other recyclable materials stay out of landfills.
To address this issue, in 2008, we set a goal to help double U.S. recycling rates for all PET plastic beverage bottles to 60 percent by 2018. We also continue to focus on improving recycling throughout our operations, and in 2010, by encouraging recycling and segregating waste streams, we achieved a 98% recycling rate for our in-factory solid stream waste – surpassing our initial goal of 95% by three percent.
Advancing Consumer Awareness
Because recycling is critical to the life cycle management that we seek for our packaging, we are dedicated to educating our consumers about the impact they can make by recycling.
For example, this past October, we conducted a first-of-its-kind mobile education tour in the Washington, D.C. area. By visiting the Deer Park® interactive mobile vehicle, consumers were able to witness recycling come to life through games and exhibits. And the more people recycle PET plastic bottles, the more opportunity there is to use recycled PET (rPET) in new products like our Deer Park 50% recycled PET plastic bottle.
By partnering with organizations like Keep America Beautiful (KAB), we aim to both educate consumers on the importance of recycling and develop programs to help collect more bottles. We sponsor programs like KAB's Great American Cleanup, the nation’s largest community improvement and beautification program, which collected 208 million bottles in 2011.
In addition, in August 2011, we sponsored KAB’s inaugural Recycle-Bowl, the first comprehensive nationwide recycling competition for elementary, middle and high school students. The four-week competition, which culminates this week, provides students with a fun, interactive way to learn about environmental responsibility through in-school recycling.
Our event sponsorships – like Poland Spring’s® sponsorship of the ING New York City Marathon, always feature strong recycling education components. In 2010, 65,000 1-gallon bottles were recycled along the marathon course.To read more about our Sustainability, visit http://citizenshipreport.nestle-watersna.com/Sustainability.