Arrowhead increases rPET in water bottles

Arrowhead increases rPET in water bottles

Food-contact-grade postconsumer recycled PET supplied by CarbonLITE Industries.

October 12, 2015

Arrowhead, a product of Nestle Waters North America (NWNA), headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, has announced it will expand its use of recycled content to many of its most popular water bottles sizes by the end of 2016. The company says it will increase its use of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) by 38 percent and will ensure that most of its bottle sizes contain up to 50 percent rPET.

Arrowhead began using rPET in its half-liter bottles three years ago.

Tim Brown, CEO and president of NWNA, says, “Arrowhead has been part of California history for more than a century. We are continuously evolving our products to have the smallest environmental footprint possible. Thanks to California’s strong commitment to recycling, there is high quality rPET available, enabling us to increase our use of recycled material.”

“Using recycled content, plastic products and other materials are converted back into new bottles,” says Dave Thorpe, supply chain director for Arrowhead. “In this ‘closed loop’ model, recycled packaging can be reused indefinitely and can help foster a circular economy that prioritizes sustainability.”

Arrowhead is partnering with Los Angeles-based CarbonLITE Industries LLC, one of the largest producers of food-grade, postconsumer rPET in the world, to provide the rPET material used in its bottles. The recycled materials are primarily collected in California.

Leon Farahnik, founder and CEO of CarbonLITE, says Arrowhead will save 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide from production annually. “That’s a significant reduction in greenhouse gases and a model for other packaging companies,” Farahnik says.

Farahnik adds, “California’s recycling program leads the nation, recovering billions of plastic containers each year.”

Arrowhead says it has established local partnerships with groups that are encouraging communities to connect with their waterways and create shared value.

In California, Arrowhead says it has partnered with Inland Empire Waterkeeper to support “Crest to Coast” restoration efforts for the last several years. With this initiative, Arrowhead explains that its employees are joining with Waterkeeper and community volunteers to implement the California Water Board’s Rapid Trash Assessment protocol, which is designed to help reduce the amount of litter found within one of Southern California’s most important watersheds. The Santa Ana River watershed encompasses more than 3,000 square miles of San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange counties, and a small portion of Los Angeles County. The Santa Ana River flows approximately 110 miles from the San Bernardino Mountains to Huntington Beach, where it empties into the Pacific Ocean.

Arrowhead says this program will allow Waterkeeper to evaluate the types of litter found at restoration sites and begin management strategies by working with local companies, agencies and other stakeholders on ways to reduce pollution and by working with schools to directly inform young people on how they can become better environmental stewards.

NWNA says it is the third largest nonalcoholic beverage company by volume in the U.S.