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Design for Recycling

Not All Plastic is Created Equal

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), or #1 plastic, is highly recyclable and has a smaller environmental footprint compared to other packaging materials such as glass and aluminum. PET plastic is safe, lightweight, durable, and The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves PET bottles as safe for food containers and packaging.

How We Design for Recycling

We take great pride in carefully designing our bottles – down to the cap and the glue we use on the labels – to be 100% recyclable and to enable them to retain their quality so they can be turned into new bottles.

The Nestlé Pure Life 700mL and Poland Spring Origin bottles use a state-of-the-art pressure-sensitive label that, unlike other traditional labels, won’t leave a glue residue on the rPET flakes during the recycling process.

 

The sustainability of our products isn’t an afterthought when it comes to design. It’s something we embed in every stage of our product development.

Reducing the Materials We Use

PET plastic water bottles represent only one-third of one percent of the total solid waste stream in the U.S.2 But while plastic water bottles make up a very small portion of overall solid waste, Nestlé Waters North America is committed to doing more.

Since 1990 we have reduced the plastic content of our half-liter bottles by more than 60%. And our bottle labels are 35% smaller.

 

Light weighting – reducing the amount of plastic resin – saves energy and reduces our carbon footprint.

Over the last few years, we have explored opportunities in what we call “barefoot packaging,” which means eliminating the need for a cardboard carton on the bottom of the case. To accomplish this, we reconfigured how we fit bottles within our case packs, arranging them asymmetrically so the case packs would remain intact using shrink-wrap only. This is something we are rolling out across our brands and in all different sizes. We have also eliminated the pull-tab from our sport bottles and made our bottle labels 35% smaller as part of our efforts to remove unnecessary material out of our caps and labels.

We are also doing what we can to encourage and inspire consumers to recycle more and invest in infrastructure to make it easier for them to recycle.

We also advocate for pragmatic policy, including minimum recycled content bills and the modernization of bottle deposit bills. Learn more about the public policies we support.

2 Environmental Protection Agency (2017)