May 17 - Nestlé Waters’ 50% Recycled Plastic Bottles Support CA Jobs

Nestlé Waters, manufacturer of Arrowhead brand bottled water, has committed to using 50 percent recycled content in its 500ML water bottles. The commitment will close the loop on million of pounds of postconsumer plastic collected for recycling in California and elsewhere.

The ‘ReBorn bottle’ is made with 50 percent recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET). Additionally, the new bottle’s Eco-Shape design requires 15 percent less energy to produce and uses fewer resources compared to bottles made from virgin materials.

The move to the ReBorn bottle is consistent with a commitment made by Nestlé Waters in its 2010 Corporate Citizenship Report, in which the company stated its intention to add rPET to the business as it became economically feasible.

"Nestle’s leadership in plastic recycling and product stewardship is real," said Mark Murray, Executive Director of Californians Against Waste. "Nestle is making a serious investment in closed loop recycling that will pay dividends for consumers, the economy and the environment."

The Arrowhead brand is widely distributed on the west-coast and the company hopes to increase awareness about the value of recycling, and using recycled materials, by using rPET in the ReBorn bottle.

"PET plastic can be used indefinitely and the best value is to restore to high-grade bottles. It improves our carbon footprint whenever we can make a more renewable product. We would encourage the food and beverage industry to use [recycled] PET in their bottles," said Nestlé CEO Kim Jeffery, in a statement last year.

Most of the post consumer recycled material for the Reborn bottles will be provided by CarbonLITE, a state-of-the-art, plastic processing facility that opened last year in Riverside, CA. CarbonLITE is one example of how a combination of public and private sector investment in post-consumer plastic processing has helped grow the industry infrastructure exponentially in the last few years.

California collects better than 70% of plastic soft drink and water bottles for recycling. More than 200 million pounds of rPet is now being processed and sold for manufacturing by California companies, with the capacity to increase that number to 300 million pounds. This $180 million California industry supports more than 1000 green jobs.

California’s leadership in the Recycled Plastic Processing and Manufacturing sector was prompted in part by an innovative Plastic Market Development program under California’s Bottle Bill. That program uses unredeemed CRV money to support and expand the development of California-based enterprises for processing and utilizing recycled plastic. ###