Demand for large PET water bottles is spurring Arrowhead Water Products Ltd. to expand its production of the containers.
Arrowhead, based in Calgary, Alberta, has installed a second Siapi blow molding machine to keep up with sales of 15-liter bottles. Sales are brisk for a number of reasons, said Arrowhead President and Chief Executive Officer Donald Wood.
The bottles are not made with bisphenol A, a material that has caused some safety concerns with polycarbonate bottles. Arrowhead's bottles are single-use and can be crushed easily for recycling in municipal programs that accept PET, the company said.
They do not carry the C$10 (US$9.83) deposit fee of 18.9-liter PC bottles that has encouraged theft. And retailers are coming to like them because they save space compared with PC and glass bottles that need to be stored before shipping out for refilling, Wood said.
``More of the larger stores are interested in getting out of deposit systems,'' he said in a telephone interview. ``PET is a competitive advantage in larger bottle formats.''
So far, Arrowhead has invested more than C$2.2 million (US$2.16 million) in the 15-liter bottles. It currently has about half a million bottles in the marketplace. That number will grow as it strives to replace its PC bottles, which now number 1.5 million strong.
The company has been blow molding bottles since September 2006, when it installed its first Siapi machine. It buys preforms and owns its molds. Arrowhead is registered to sell the 15-liter bottles in Alberta and is one of two firms registered to sell them in British Columbia.
Arrowhead recently raised cash to help expand its 15-liter bottle program. It sold its home and office water delivery business to an undisclosed party for about C$1.9 million (US$1.86 million).
The firm claims to be Canada's largest Canadian-owned, publicly traded water company in large-format bottled drinking water.