Arrowhead® Mountain Spring Water announced today that it has dramatically increased the amount of recycled plastic used in its bottle production. Thanks to the high recycling rate of California residents, and with help from its strategic partner CarbonLITE, Arrowhead now ensures that 9 out of 10 of its Arrowhead bottles made in California incorporate 50% post-consumer recycled plastic content.
Plastic water bottles are commonly made out of material called polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Arrowhead has been an industry leader in the use of recycled materials and began using recycled plastic (or rPET) in its half-liter bottles — its most popular size — four years ago. The increase in recycled content is part of a larger effort to reduce plastic waste by Nestlé Waters North America, which produces Arrowhead® Mountain Spring Water.
Arrowhead partners with Los Angeles-based CarbonLITE Industries LLC, one of the largest producers of food-grade, post-consumer recycled PET in the world, to provide the rPET material used in its bottles. The recycled materials are collected primarily in California.
Through its partnership with CarbonLITE, Arrowhead has kept a significant amount of PET bottles from ending up in the waste stream. CarbonLITE estimates that, since 2012, these 86 million pounds of recycled plastic have saved 69,660 tons of carbon emissions versus the use of virgin plastic. This is the equivalent of 39,000 round trip flights from New York to Los Angeles or taking 13,349 cars off the road for a year.
“Californians continue to lead the nation in recycling — recovering billions of plastic containers each year. By reusing the PET portion of these materials, Arrowhead is helping to reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions and set the standard for the industry,” said Leon Farahnik, founder and CEO of CarbonLITE.
“Sustainability is a top priority for Arrowhead, which is why we use continuously recyclable PET for our bottles, and why we are committed to finding solutions and stimulating demand to reduce plastic waste. A big part of that is changing the source of PET we use to package our beverages,” said Nelson Switzer, Chief Sustainability Officer at NWNA.
“When our rPET bottles get recycled, we begin to close the loop, putting recycled plastic back into production rather than into the trash,” said Dave Thorpe, Supply Chain Director for Arrowhead. “Together with CarbonLITE, our efforts have kept approximately 1.8 billion bottles out of landfills in this state.”
Arrowhead’s recycling efforts help the State of California to meet its climate change commitments, which call for the reduction of Green House Gas emissions to 40 percent of 1990 levels by 2030. Across the country, Nestlé Waters North America has also reduced the amount of plastic used in its half-liter water bottles by more than 60 percent nationwide over the last two decades.
“The key to meeting the climate change commitments in California lies in collective action on energy and resource management,” Switzer observed. “In this spirit, Nestlé Waters is continuing to look for opportunities to partner with others to help close the loop on plastic waste by recovering, recycling and increasing the use of rPET in packaging.”