Are Nestle and Evian doing enough to reduce plastic?
Our planet consists of 70% water, so it doesn’t take much to realise how valuable it is to us. The pollution of our water with plastic waste is a massive deal, as it affects not just marine life, but everything on the planet.
Now, two companies who usually bottle and sell it are stepping forward in the battle against this waste.
The water giant Evian plans to purge plastic use as much as possible by creating and selling a “bubble” jug, which we’ll touch on later, while Nestle SA is focusing on making a similar system with refillable bottles.
Both of these companies are well known for taking natural spring water, packaging it in plastic bottles and delivering it to customers all across the world. What they want to become less known for, however, is being the source of a lot of plastic waste.
Despite a previous effort, people have argued that neither company have done enough. The idea of shrinking the size of their caps made little difference but was a step in the right direction. In recent times, however, the push for less waste pollution has gotten greater and greater from all angles- and so they’ve both tried to take large strides to catch up as of late.
Plastic reduction has been a constant within governments for a while now. Banning plastic straws, placing fees on plastic supermarket bags and a planned prohibition of single use plastic items as of 2021 by the European Parliament are only a few of the steps taken for a global cut-down on the overuse of plastic.
Nestle was criticised publicly by Greenpeace last week due to the company relying heavily on single-use plastics. In response to being urged to focus on a refillable bottle scheme, Nestle’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Schneider said that reusing alone wouldn’t bring an end the waste problem, though the recent announcement of Nestle’s new idea shows they are still trying to contribute in any way they can, or at least when pressured to.
If Evian and Nestle wish to stay at the top of the water market, they have to continue to alter the way they do things to keep up with the times- because currently, they just haven’t done enough.
The self-explanatory Evian Renew system has its water contained within a 5-litre recyclable bubble, with 66% less plastic than a standard 1.5 litre Evian bottle. The skin of the plastic container is also very thin, allowing its shape to contract with each use and collapse when empty, allowing its users to easily tell when it needs to be removed from the base dispenser and replaced.
Evian Renew also includes an app that will inform you when a delivery for more water is needed, and has a button ready for fast ordering.
It will still be a while before the Evian Renew becomes publicly available though. To start things off, it will begin a four-month pilot phase amongst 200 selected consumers in London and Paris before gradually becoming accessible to more people. The question of price, however, is still yet to be confirmed according to a spokeswoman of Danone, the company that owns Evian.
According to Evian’s head of marketing, Patricia Olivia, the bottled water titan is on the quest of becoming carbon neutral by next year and at the same time, is working to use only recycled plastics in its products by 2025.
Olivia further expanded on the company’s goals by stating: “Based on the conversations we’ve had with consumers, it’s important to those who want to have natural mineral water at home to have a solution that’s both more sustainable and more convenient.”
Last year, Evian produced 1.9 billion bottles, an absolutely massive amount. Though it will be a difficult task to have all these bottles become recycled plastics in five years-time, Evian Renew will no doubt play at least a small part in making sure there’ll be less plastic waste in the future.
As for Nestle, the key details beyond it focusing on bottle refilling are far more limited. It is known, however, that the filtered water within it can be flavoured or carbonated to better fit the tastes of the user.
They have, however, made an official response to a Greenpeace petition asking them to stop using single-use plastics, stating:
“We are introducing reusable packaging, new delivery systems, and innovative business models. We are currently testing reusable ice cream containers for our Häagen-Dazs brand in the U.S. Dispensers for NESCAFÉ and MILO are already available in many countries around the world. In early 2020, we will launch new water dispensers using state-of-the-art technology, allowing consumers to fill their own reusable bottles.”
Greenpeace responded in a post available here with:
“We are happy to hear you are investing in reusable and refillable systems. Now you need to do so on a scale that’s big enough to actually make a dent in the huge amount of plastic you are producing.”
Change is coming, but is it enough? I think it’s a start.
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