Evian Eliminates Label from New 100% Recycled Plastic Bottle

(Photo: Evian’s new label-free rPET water bottle. Credit: Evian)

by | Jul 8, 2020

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Evian Eliminates Label from New 100% Recycled Plastic Bottle

(Photo: Evian’s new label-free rPET water bottle. Credit: Evian)

Evian created a new water bottle made from 100% recycled plastic that is completely label-free. The 400-milliliter mineral water bottle took two years to develop and represents part of the Danone brand’s goal of becoming fully circular by 2025.

Shweta Harit, Evian’s global vice president, gave Environment + Energy Leader an early look at the fully recyclable bottle and discussed the unique challenges that stemmed from completely eliminating the label.

This is the brand’s first circular, label-free bottle made from fully recycled PET (rPET), which can be recycled over and over, she said. The caps use HDPE and OPP plastics to help preserve water quality, which can also be recycled.

Leaving off the non-recyclable label prevents waste by saving resources, Harit noted. In place of a label, text is embossed on the clear plastic in a way that resembles classic glass bottles at first glance. Embossing takes place during the blow-molding stage, when the preform is heated and blown within the confines of the mold that has the final label-free bottle shape. The preform expands and the rPET material constrained by the mold shape adheres to it.

Having a stripped-back “engraved” design presents a unique marketing challenge for Evian, however.

“These things would struggle on shelves because it doesn’t have a label,” Harit said. “We tried to do a pink cap because we’re a pink brand, but on the shelf you won’t see that.”

Rather than risk consumers overlooking the label-free bottles in aisles, Evian began distributing them in France to select hotels, restaurants, hospitality establishments as well as online via the French Amazon and Evian websites.

“A lot of the big hotel chains are keen on it,” Harit said. Parisian delicatessen La Grande Épicerie and the café chains Cojean and Prêt-à-Manger will carry the bottles, too.

Evian plans to make them available in international markets starting in September: the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Singapore.

Having circular packaging made from rPET that can be recycled at the end of its life supports the brand’s sustainability goals. Using recycled plastic as a material reduces carbon emissions. This year Evian was certified carbon neutral to the internationally-recognized standard PAS 2060 by the Carbon Trust.

“Climate change awareness is growing, but plastic is what people see so it’s important to look at the full picture,” Harit said.

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