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Bottled Water Brands Need To Raise Their Game On Recycled Plastic

December 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Bottled water brands are facing a major problem caused by growing consumer awareness of the environmental damage caused by plastic. One iconic brand, Evian, has pledged to increase the amount of recycled plastic in its bottles from 30 percent to 100 percent by 2025, a goal that requires new technology for turning used and dirty plastic into plastic that can be used in new bottles.

Consumers are showing signs of losing patience with bottled water brands, and some offices, stores and visitor venue have decided to stop selling bottled water. New York City is considering banning single use plastic bottles in some locations, including parks and beaches, and the European Parliament is backing changes that will force member states to collect 90 percent of plastic bottles for recycling. Some brands are coming up with innovations, such as Pepsi’s reusable water bottles with flavor capsules. It also trialing stations for dispensing Aquafina water in various flavors.

The answer is proving difficult to find, with brands having to weigh up the convenience of plastic packaging with the pressures to find an alternative. Loop Industries, a Canadian startup, has created a way to break down plastic into base ingredients, but it will take a while to scale. Water brands have so far failed to deliver on promises to increase their use of recycled plastic, but Danone, the parent of the Evian brand, said it is confident that Loop’s technology is feasible. Evian aims to start receiving Loop’s plastics by 2020, but Danone is looking at other solutions too.[Image Credit: © Adam Novak from Pixabay]
Saabira Chaudhuri, "Plastic Water Bottles, Which Enabled a Drinks Boom, Now Threaten a Crisis", The Wall Street Journal , December 12, 2018, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc
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