How do you address plastic packaging waste?

A PET plastic bottle is a fully and easily recyclable material. It is not a waste but a resource that can be reused once collected. However, 1 in 2 bottles are not collected today.

Nestlé Waters’ ambition is to improve the recovery of used PET plastic bottles, the packaging material we use for most of our bottles.

Nestlé Waters is actively contributing to plastic PET(*) (polyethylene terephthalate) collection, the packaging material most used by the beverage industry, is safe and has long been approved for use in food contact applications by regulatory authorities throughout the world, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Union.

Focus on the end-of-life of PET bottles:
PET is 100% recyclable and is the most recycled plastic material. The use of PET bottles is a resource, not waste. The value in each bottle must be maintained by collecting, recycling and reusing them in secondary applications, like bottle-to-bottle and the textile industry.

Nestlé Waters recognises that PET bottles ending up as waste is a challenge for the beverage industry. We therefore work with other stakeholders, including municipalities, NGOs, waste management and recycling organisations, the private sector, etc., to improve the recovery of empty PET bottles.

For example, in Manitoba, Canada, Nestlé Waters co-founded the Canadian Beverage Container Recycling Association (CBCRA), a not-for-pro t organisation committed to reaching the Government target of recovering 75% of beverage containers sold in Manitoba. The CBCRA has focused on improving PET bottle collection in public spaces and expects to meet its 75% recovery target by the end of 2016.

Nestlé Waters and its experts proactively explore opportunities to use alternatives to virgin PET, notably recycled PET and bio- based PET. Brands like Arrowhead, Resource and Montclair in North America use PET bottles that contain 50-100% recycled PET content. We support bio-based PET as an opportunity to move from oil-based PET to PET sourced from fully renewable sources. Nestlé Waters’ brands like Levissima in Italy are already using a percentage of bio-based PET in their bottles, while Nestlé Waters engages with others to understand and optimise the supply and environmental performance of this type of material.

Weight reduction: Nestlé Waters has reduced the average weight of its packaging by nearly 10% over the last five years (between 2010 and 2015). Nestlé Waters North America introduced the new-generation Eco-Shape bottle. This 0.5-litre bottle weighs just 9.2g and is 25% lighter than the previous bottle.

Recyclable-by-design principles: We apply recyclable-by-design principles when developing new packaging, which includes avoiding the use of materials and/or compounds that could reduce the quality of recycled PET.

(*) PET is a critically important material for Nestlé Waters bottling activity containing 2/3 of total material needed for packaging. Glass is another key component representing above 25% and is fully recyclable.

Did you know?

Our objective is to encourage all stakeholders to improve their recycling behaviour through an initiative called R-Generation. We have notably carried out R-Generation programmes at schools in Italy (20 tonnes of PET collected in 2013) and the town centre of Buxton in northern England (60 recycling units).
Nestlé Waters also supports PET recycling awareness. For example, Vittel provided Dodo, a French bedding company, with PET scraps from the factory that were recycled and used in a range of Dodo products.
This initiative won the “2015 Product Eco-Design” category at the 2015 ESSEC Grand Prix for Responsible Consumer Industries, under the high patronage of the French Ministry for the Economy.