Nestlé Waters North America Inc. is rolling out water bottles made with 50 percent recycled PET, the company's latest effort in sustainable packaging.
The half-liter ReBorn bottles will be used across three Nestlé brands — Arrowhead, Deer Park, and premium water brand Resource — and will be labeled to remind consumers to recycle, said Jane Lazgin, director of media and corporate communications, by phone.
“It's designed to be a sort of reminder that these are products from nature and we should be responsible… all the way through,” she said.
According to Californians against Waste, most of the recycled content will be provided by CarbonLite Industries LLC, a recycler in Los Angeles.
The bottle looks no different than a bottle made with virgin PET resin, is just durable and functional, and meets all FDA standards and definitions, Lazgin said.
Nestlé is hoping the bottles will help promote closed-loop PET bottle recycling.
They're “a reminder to recycle, because that's the only way to get more supply to make this recycled package,” Lazgin said.
Consumer will often ask why bottles aren't made entirely of recycled PET, or why more products don't use recycled material. The answer is supply, she added.
According to Californians Against Waste, California collects approximately 70 percent of plastic beverage bottles for recycling. More than 200 million pounds of recycled PET is processed and sold by California companies, with potential capacity of 300 million pounds.
The ReBorn bottle may be a reminder, but it's also a milestone.
Nestlé started exploring environmentally friendly packaging in 1994. Now, almost 20 years into that journey, half-liter water bottles are 60 percent lighter. And since 2003, the company has saved 3.3 billion pounds of plastic through light weighting, she said.
In 2007, the company redesigned and reengineered its bottles into their current design, named EcoShape, which features a narrow waist and stronger shoulders to support using only 9.2 grams of material.
“I'm not sure we can get much lower than that,” Lazgin joked.
In a news release, Californians against Waste said the ReBorn bottles require 15 percent less energy to produce. Lazgin could not confirm that information.