Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) recently announced that three more of its US domestic still water brands have started to convert their packaging to 100% recycled plastic. Ozarka Brand 100% Natural Spring Water, Deer Park Brand 100% Natural Spring Water, and Zephyrhills Brand 100% Natural Spring Water packaging, which has long been 100% recyclable, will now be both 100% recyclable and made from 100% recycled plastic.
The packaging conversion for these three brands means that NWNA has now doubled the amount of rPET used since 2019 across its US domestic portfolio to 16.5%. This step brings the company closer to achieving its goals of using 25% rPET across its US domestic portfolio by 2021 and 50% rPET by 2025.
To help consumers identify the new rPET bottles, all three brands will include a new message on the labels of the 20oz, 700mL, 1L, and 1.5L bottles, stating they are both 100% recyclable and now are also made from 100% recycled plastic. To provide greater transparency about the source of the water, the labels will also include a QR code that allows people to scan and track the journey of the water they’re drinking, as well as the bottle. Ozarka will be launching a TV, digital and social media campaign this summer to inform Texans of the new rPET bottles. Understanding that bottles need to be recycled in order to create bottles with other bottles, Zephyrhills will be launching limited edition labels that encourage consumers to recycle through a message stating, “I’m Not Trash! I’m 100% Recyclable.” This message will accompany the “100% recycled” message on the applicable bottle sizes.
NWNA’s ability to expand its use of recycled plastic partially relies on existing bottles being recycled when empty. Unfortunately, right now, less than 30% of PET bottles are recycled and many recovered beverage containers are being down-cycled and used in non-food contact applications versus being made back into beverage containers. While giving a plastic beverage container another life in products such as carpets and textiles ensures one more use, it does not represent the highest and best use of food-grade recycled material, according to NWNA.
Just one year ago, NWNA faced opposition from environmentalists and a local water district regarding the company’s request for a new permit to draw water from Ginnie Springs in Gilchrist County, Florida. The permit would allow the company to withdraw as much as 1.152 million gallons of water a day from the springs, which flows into the Santa Fe River, for bottling.
A current permit allows the company to withdraw that amount each day, but reported water use has never been that high, according to the Gainesville Sun. Highest water use over the past four years was less than 0.27 million gallons per day.