Nestlé Waters North America, headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, has announced that it has signed a “significant agreement” with recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) supplier CarbonLite, headquartered in Los Angeles. The recycler is expanding its U.S. operations by building a third facility in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania.
Nestlé Waters operates two bottling facilities in the Lehigh Valley.
The new contract builds upon Nestlé Waters’ existing relationship with CarbonLite, one of the largest producers of food-grade rPET, and allows the beverage company to further expand the use of recycled materials in its packaging. Nestlé Waters says it currently purchases rPET from CarbonLite’s existing facilities in California and Texas.
“We are pleased that CarbonLite will be locating a facility in a region important to our manufacturing footprint,” says Bill Trackim, vice president, head of supply chain and procurement, at Nestlé Waters North America. “Being able to purchase rPET in the area helps us better support the regional economy while promoting environmental sustainability through the use of renewable and recyclable materials in our packaging.”
CarbonLite says it anticipates the facility will be in full production by early 2020 and will have the ability to recycle more than 2 billion postconsumer bottles annually. The new 200,000-square-foot processing facility is anticipated to save 60,000 tons of carbon annually by using postconsumer materials and produce 80 million pounds per year of food-grade rPET pellets, according to a news release from Nestlé Waters.
“Nestlé Waters continues to be a leader in their sustainability efforts,” says Leon Farahnik, chairman of CarbonLite Industries LLC. “We are proud to have grown with them for the past seven years and proud to expand our relationship in our state-of-the-art facility in Pennsylvania.”
Nestlé Waters uses recycled plastic in a number of its brands, including Nestlé Pure Life and Deer Park, which are bottled locally. The company has been increasing the amount of rPET it uses in its packaging since 2011. In February 2018, Nestlé Waters launched a 700- milliliter Nestlé Pure Life bottle made of 100 percent rPET. In California, all of the company’s single-serve sizes of Arrowhead Brand Mountain Spring Water and Nestlé Pure Life bottles produced in the state are made with 50 percent rPET.
Nestlé Waters’ parent company, Nestlé SA, is a signatory of the recently announced New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. An initiative of The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and UN Environment, the commitment is an agreement to ensure that 100 percent of plastic packaging can be reused, recycled or composted by 2025.