FRANCE – Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, has developed two new packaging innovations aimed at reducing use of virgin plastic in its supply chain.
According to a statement from Nestlé the novel water bottles developed for its Vittel® natural mineral water are designed to function just like traditional plastic bottles but with much less plastic.
The first innovation is the Vittel® GO system which consists of a reusable hard protective case designed to hold 50cl refills of Vittel® natural mineral water that are made with 40% less plastic than a traditional 50cl Vittel® bottle.
The reusable hard protective case is necessary to make it easy to drink the water as the recycled plastics-made with as little recycled plastic as possible-are very flexible and light.
The second packaging innovation is a 100% recyclable 1-liter Vittel® Hybrid bottle that is made from two types of materials: an ultra-thin plastic bottle and a fiber-based material.
According to Nestlé, the ultra-thin bottle uses two times less plastic than a classic 1L bottle while the fibre outer covering is made from 100% recycled cardboard and old newspapers.
A tearing system is currently being developed by Nestlé packaging experts to allows consumers to easily separate the paper and plastic components for recycling when the hybrid bottle is empty.
The new packaging innovations were developed by experts at Nestlé’s research and development center for Waters in Vittel, France who received special funding from Nestlé’s internal R&D ‘Shark-Tank’ initiative.
To develop the hybrid bottle, the experts worked in collaboration with Ecologic Powered by Jabil, a Californian start-up that specializes in eco-design of packaging.
The success of Nestlé opens up new possibilities for the development of the next generation of water bottles.
Their launch is coming at a time water packaged in plastic bottles is increasingly losing its social currency due to the impact of that the packaging has on the environment.
Coca-Cola has find itself under sharp criticism in the United States due to the carbon footprint of its Dasani water brand.
To avoid further negative publicity, the US beverage manufacturing giant made a decision to start bottling its Dasani water in aluminium cans.
The environmental impact of bottled water is also believed to have a bearing on the decision by Nestlé to sell its North American water division.
With the new bottles that boast of a significantly less carbon footprint, Nestlé can comfortably align its water business with its global goal of reducing virgin plastic use by one third by 2025.
Both the Vittel® GO and Vittel® Hybrid water bottles will be available for consumer testing in France in July.
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