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Why does Nestlé Waters North America use plastic bottles?


  1. Why does NWNA use plastic bottles? 
  2. Do you use recycled plastic in any of our packaging?
  3. What is NWNA doing to help avoid environmental pollution of plastic bottles?
  4. Is Nestlé Waters exploring any to alternatives to traditional virgin plastic?

Learn more about our global efforts.


1.  Why does NWNA use plastic bottles?

PET plastic, which we use to make most of our bottles, is safe, lightweight, durable, and best of all, 100% recyclable. PET plastic was never designed to be thrown away. If a PET plastic bottle is recycled properly, that plastic can be used to create new bottles again and again.

2.  Do you use recycled plastic in any of our packaging? 

We’ve been using recycled plastic (rPET) in our packaging since 2011. Currently, 7% of the plastic use in our bottled water products across North America is recycled plastic. However, in places like California where recycling rates are high, Nestlé Waters is leading the industry in its use of recycled plastic: more than 37% of the plastic we use across all brands sold in California is made from rPET– more than any other large beverage manufacturer in the state.

We are rapidly increasing the use of rPET across our portfolio over the next several years. In fact, we’re on track to nearly quadruple our use in less than 3 years to reach 25% rPET by 2021 and 50% by 2025.

Our Nestlé® Pure Life® 700 mL bottle is currently the only major nationally distributed bottled water on the market to be made using 100% rPET. In addition, all of our single-serve bottles of Arrowhead brand and Nestlé® Pure Life® produced in California are made using 50% rPET

3.  What is NWNA doing to help avoid environmental pollution of plastic bottles?

We want to take the “single” out of “single-use” plastic bottles by helping to realize a circular economy, one in which our bottles never end up in a landfill or ocean.

Part of achieving this means creating bottles that are made entirely from recycled or renewable sources, designing for recyclability, increasing the rate of collection, and thinking beyond the bottle to find new technologies and delivery systems that help us achieve zero environmental impact.

For instance, NWNA makes investments in recycling infrastructure in the U.S. through our $6 million investment in the Closed Loop Fund. We were also the first beverage company in North America to add How2Recycle information on the labels of its major U.S. brands. These labels include a reminder for consumers to empty the bottle and replace the cap before recycling.  

NWNA also supports recycling collection programs through organizations like Keep America Beautiful, including an integrated recycling education and awareness initiative for the 10,000 students affected by the Flint water crisis.

We also work with partners where we operate locally to fund waterway cleanups and engage our employees to support these efforts. Examples include our Crest-to-Coast initiative with the Inland Empire Waterkeeper in Southern California, sponsoring an annual “Trash Bash” cleanup in Texas, as well as other annual cleanups of the Muskegon River in Michigan and Mill River in Connecticut. Nestlé Waters, through its Zephyrhills® Brand, also partnered with Keep America Beautiful to increase access to on-the-go recycling on beaches and at other public recreation locations along Florida's waterways.

Just recently, NWNA and Keep America Beautiful joined forces on an initiative to help clean U.S. national parks during the government shutdown.

4. Is Nestlé Waters exploring any to alternatives to traditional virgin plastic? 

We are on track to nearly quadruple our use of recycled plastic in less than 3 years. By 2021, we will ensure that 25% of all the plastic we use across our U.S. domestic portfolio is made from rPET, and we plan to reach 50% rPET across that same portfolio by 2025.

At the same time, we are actively exploring alternative materials in our packaging such as plastic made from second-generation biomaterial. For example, we have partnered with Danone, Pepsi and Origin Materials, a start-up based in Sacramento, California, to form the NaturALL Bottle Alliance. Together, we aim to develop and launch, on a commercial scale, a PET plastic bottle made from 100% sustainable and renewable resources. 

We are also always exploring alternative delivery systems for our water, whether that be alternative packaging materials, or delivery systems that go beyond packaging.