At Nestlé Waters North America, we know that a smaller footprint starts with less packaging. This focus on innovation is never-ending as we are constantly assessing our bottled water packaging and identifying design and material changes. Looking ahead, our goal is to incorporate more alternative packaging material, including recycled plastics and/or bioplastic made from renewable materials, into our packaging.
Bottled water is one-tenth of 1 percent of a person’s carbon footprint. A life cycle analysis shows our .5 liter bottled water is among the best packaged beverage choices for the environment because it requires less energy and other resources to make and transport than a heavier bottle containing more ingredients For more information, visit here.
All of our “single-serve” bottles from 8 ounces to 3 liter that are made from non-recycled PET #1 plastic, as well as our 1 gallon and 2.5 gallon bottles made from non-recycled HDPE #2 plastic, are completely BPA-free. Additionally, all of our 5-gallon bottles are now made of PET #1 plastic which is also BPA-free.
Compare the Environmental Impact of Various Beverage Choices
See how we are working to continue improving our environmental impact through innovation in our packaging.
There is a reason why we use recyclable plastic bottles: it’s safe, lightweight, transparent, and resilient. Plus, plastic can be recycled and reused again. Our half-liter water bottles are made from PET, which stands for polyethylene terephthalate, a kind of polyester plastic. PET is made from monoethylene glycol and purified terephthalic acid, which combine into a polyester plastic. PET bottles are lightweight, stable and have a lighter impact than other packaging materials like glass and aluminum. The FDA also approves PET bottles as safe.
In the fall of 2014, FDA completed a four-year review of more than 300 scientific studies and in December, 2014 concluded that "Based on FDA's ongoing safety review of scientific evidence, the available information continues to support the safety of BPA for the currently approved uses in food containers and packaging.”
Nestlé is committed to sustainability practices across all business sectors, from sourcing to manufacturing to product development all the way through the recycling process.
Recovery and Recycling
Today, PET plastic water bottles represent only one-third of one percent of the total solid waste stream in the U.S. Across all of Nestlé Waters North America businesses, we are reducing our environmental footprint and working with others to help improve recycling rates in North America. While plastic water bottles make up a very small portion of overall solid waste, too many still do not get recycled. We are committed to improving plastic PET beverage bottle recycling rates to 60% by 2018. By incorporating recycled content into our packaging, we are demonstrating that we can close the loop with PET.
Closed Loop System in Action
Since 2010 we have been working to increase the amount of recycled content in our bottles. In 2010, three of our .5 Liter bottled water brands were packaged in bottles made from 50% recycled plastic. In 2015 we launched our 100% recycled content bottle for our resource® Natural Spring Water brand. 2015 also marked our Arrowhead® brand regional spring water announcement to increase the amount of recycled materials in packaging produced in California. We set a goal to get our bottles to be composed of 50% rPET, which we purchase directly from a facility close to our factory. This is exciting progress for us, as it means we are expanding our overall use of rPET by nearly 40% for the Arrowhead® brand in California. That is the equivalent of 18 million pounds of recycled material.
By using recycled material to produce our bottles, we are participating in the Circular Economy. The Circular Economy asks us to shift from a linear “take, make, waste” economic model to one that is restorative by design. Many people think of this as a “closed loop system” where outputs like waste are repurposed as raw materials for the next round of production.
1 Nestlé Waters North America and Quantis International. "Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Drinking Water Alternatives and Consumer Beverage Consumption in North America." 2010. http://www.nestle-watersna.com/asset-library/documents/nwna_lca_report_020410.pdf
2 US EPA. “Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in the United States Tables and Figures for 2012” https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-09/documents/2012_msw_dat_tbls.pdf