Is the federal government banning single use plastics, and does this include water bottles?
On June 10, 2019, the federal government announced their plan to ban ‘harmful’ single-use plastic as early as 2021. In October 2020, the government announced their list of single use plastics to ban, which include checkout bags, stir sticks, beverage six-pack rings, cutlery, straws, and food packaging made from plastics that are difficult to recycle. The government used the Toxic Substances list to formulate their list of banned “harmful” single-use plastics that are found in the environment, are often not recycled or hard to recycle, and have readily available alternatives. The management of other plastics will be regulated through recycled content standards and extended producer responsibility (EPR).
Are plastic bottles wasteful and bad for the environment?
We do not consider our bottle a single use plastic because everything about this product, from the bottle to the cap to the label, can be recycled and used repeatedly. PET plastic is a valuable resource that is part of the circular economy.
Our bottles are never meant to be put in the garbage, and PET is the second most valuable item in the Blue Box program. Our bottles are 100% recyclable, and we are working with industry partners to help ensure those bottles are captured, recycled, and reused repeatedly.
Since 2005, we have light weighted our packaging by more than 40%, and we are working on plans to increase our use of post-consumer recycled plastic in our products.
What are you doing to ensure your bottles get recycled?
While the recycling rate for beverage containers in Canada is approximately 75%, we all need to do more to make sure ALL beverage containers are recycled. PET is the second most valuable item in the Blue Box program in Ontario and the more the product is captured, the more it can be reused repeatedly.
Through our industry association, the Canadian Beverage Association, we aim to advance recycling policies so that we can capture and reuse as many PET beverage containers as possible, and to educate our consumers about the impact they can make by recycling, and preventing valuable plastic materials from being discarded.
In August 2019, it was announced that the Ontario government will be implementing an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) model for the Blue Box Program. We look forward to working with the government, municipalities and industry partners on its implementation. We have always supported the Blue Box program and continue to work hard to find ways to increase the recycling rates in Ontario.
We are working closely with Nestlé Canada to bring a strong Nestlé voice to discussions with government, customers, industry partners and other stakeholders as we improve recycling across the country to move towards a circular economy.
Are you looking at alternatives to plastic to use in your products?
Yes, we are. In 2018, Nestlé created the Institute of Packaging Sciences to evaluate and develop various sustainable packaging materials and to collaborate with industrial partners to develop new packaging materials and solutions.
Nestlé Waters and Danone have also joined forces with Origin Materials, a start-up based in Sacramento, California, to form the NaturALL Bottle Alliance. Together, the partners aim to develop and launch, on a commercial scale, a PET plastic bottle made from 100% sustainable and renewable resources.
Nestlé has also formed a global partnership with Danimer Scientific to develop a marine biodegradable and recyclable bottle for its water business.
What are you doing to contribute to the collection of plastic bottles?
We are proud to have supported innovative public spaces recycling programs in our source communities: Erin and Puslinch. The Erin recycling program, launched in 2018, was a partnership between the Township of Erin and the Canadian Beverage Association. The Puslinch recycling program, launched in 2020, is fully funded by Nestlé Waters Canada.
With as much as 40% of beverage products consumed away from home, it is essential to have convenient public space recycling away-from-home.
Public spaces recycling programs across the country have shown that increasing access to recycling, along with clear, effective promotion and education, leads to higher recycling rates, reduced contamination of recyclable materials, and less litter.