Our mineral water brands in Europe teamed up with local authorities and waste experts to inspire marathon runners to drink water and recycle their empty bottles during the London, Milan and Paris races. These initiatives were parts of our on-going worldwide goal to boost hydration and contribute to a circular economy.
This year, Buxton in the UK, Vittel in France and Levissima in Italy backed this commitment by each working with industry partners again to implement more innovative ways to help athletes increase their water intake, reduce street litter and promote recycling.
‘Closed Loop Recycling’ at the London Marathon
At the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 26, Buxton aimed to encourage runners to drink water by introducing new mineral water bottles made from 50% recycled plastic, an increase from 20% – a UK first.
Our brand also joined forces with London Marathon Events to create a new joint ‘Closed Loop Recycling’ project. Used plastic bottles were collected along the route during and after the event from the city boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Greenwich, Southwark and Canary Wharf, before being sent to a bottle reprocessor to be recycled back into new bottles.
Runners dropped their used plastic bottles in our designated ‘drop zones’ throughout the 26.1-mile course to speed up the collection process.
In the lead up to the event, Buxton also encouraged participants and spectators to dispose of their waste correctly and bring refillable bottles.
“We wanted to promote the best sustainable practices and highlight the importance of recycling,” said Warren Plaskett, Head of Marketing at Nestlé Waters. “We remain committed to increasing the amount of recycled materials in our packaging, and to working with industry partners to improve national recycling rates.”
Action plan at the Paris Marathon
Our brand also worked together with Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris to cut down on littering and increase the collection of empty water bottles with a three-point action plan.
Ahead of the event, Vittel led educational workshops for runners as they picked up their race numbers in the Salon du Running area.
For the event, our brand tripled the number of collection points with over 540 easy-to-identify containers for runners to drop their used bottles. After the event, we also picked up used bottles and litter in wooded and sensitive areas in the city to help with the clean-up.
Recycling for redevelopment at the Milan Marathon
At the Generali Milano Marathon on April 8, Levissima teamed up with the Municipality of Milan and AMSA, a subsidiary of environmental services group A2A, to raise awareness about the importance of recycling through engaging social media posts and adverts.
Our brand was also present at a nearby metro station to encourage runners to correctly dispose of their used plastic bottles before, during and after the race. The collected bottles – and other recycled and sustainable materials such as wood – will be reused as part of the fitness trail stations redevelopment in Sempione Park.
“The Generali Milano Marathon has been a major opportunity to highlight our Levissima brand, promote drinking water and encourage environmental responsibility,” said Francesca Rebba, Senior Brand Manager for Levissima. “This year’s event is part of our continuous effort to raise awareness to people about the proper processes of recycling of plastic, even during sporting activity.”
Reaffirming recycling ambition by 2025
Our latest efforts to reaffirm the importance of hydration and increase recycling form part of our ambition to make 100% of our packaging recyclable or re-usable by 2025.
In Europe, we are on target to achieve 25% recycled content in our PET bottles by 2025. Over the past ten years, we have also cut down the amount of PET needed for each litre of bottled water we produce, by 22%.