Nestle Nixes Bottling Plant Over Environmental Concerns

by | Sep 18, 2009

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NestlewaterNestle Waters North America has abandoned plans to build a water bottling plant at the site of an old mill property in McCloud, Calif., after a six-year battle with the town over environmental concerns, according to Triple Pundit.

According to Kim Jeffery, CEO, Nestle Waters North America, in a letter to the town, the company is withdrawing its proposal to build a bottling facility in McCloud. The food and beverage company has purchased a site for a new bottling facility in the Sacramento area that will help supply its customers in Northern California, with lower distribution costs and a reduced environmental footprint.

Jeffrey also noted in the statement that the company would provide data produced from new scientific studies on the Squaw Creek watershed upon completion to the town. The company will also consider offers on the property from potential buyers after obtaining an appraisal.

As a result, activists in the Northern California town are claiming victory in its battle to block Nestle’s proposal to build a 1-million square foot facility that would bottle 521 million gallons of water a year, pulled from the town’s watershed, and employee 240 people, according to Triple Pundit.

Nestle later scaled back the size of the plant, revised the scope down to 195 million gallons, and reduced the workforce to 100, but the company had already become a focus of the Think Outside the Bottle campaign of the watchdog group Corporate Accountability International, according to Triple Pundit.

Nestle’s battle is only one example of a widespread publicity issue for bottled water companies over the past year. Faced with declining demand, in part due to public criticism that bottled water is wasteful and harmful to the environment, bottled water companies are reducing the amount of plastic in their packaging, along with lowering prices.

Beverage companies are also ramping up their recycling campaigns. As an example, Coca-Cola has rolled out a new advertising campaign in the U.K. to drive up recycling rates, reports Marketing Magazine.

The ‘Keep it Going. Recycle’ campaign supports Coca-Cola’s investment in a program to create branded ‘Recycle Zones’ across the U.K., reports Marketing Magazine. The campaign was created as a result of research by Coca-Cola in partnership with the Carbon Trust that showed packaging accounts for the largest proportion of a drink’s carbon footprint, according to the magazine.

This campaign supports the company’s efforts to make packaging from more recycled materials and less material overall, reports Marketing Magazine.

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