The bottled water industry is transforming using sustainable practices and rPET materials

(BPT) - There's nothing better than grabbing a bottle of cold, refreshing water to quench your thirst. While its convenience can't be argued, bottled water isn't often considered a sustainable choice. But the industry is changing and one company is spearheading multiple initiatives to ensure bottled water is an eco-friendly option that's as good for the earth as it is for your body.

CG Roxane, the company behind Crystal Geyser® Alpine Spring Water®, is committed to protecting the environment through conservation and sustainable manufacturing practices. All CG Roxane products are 100% recyclable, but what really stands out is their ability to produce bottles using a minimum of 50% recycled polyethylene terephthalate (more frequently referred to as rPET) at their West Coast bottling plants, with the goal of using 100% rPET nationally in the near future.

What is rPET?

Polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, is a plastic material approved by the FDA and used by many food and beverage companies because it’s safe, durable and recyclable. After PET is recycled it becomes rPET. The rPET material provides the same level of safety and durability, but because it comes from existing material, has much less of an environmental footprint. Not only does the safe, effective rPET process put used bottles to good use, it contributes greatly toward closing the sustainability loop. A recent study revealed that on average, 42% of Americans are not aware that all plastic packaging is not the same. Further, while 57% of the 2,000 Americans surveyed either don’t know what rPET is or have heard of rPET, but don’t know more than that. Although 78% would prefer to purchase products made at least in part with recycled plastic vs new (virgin) plastic.

Opening a plant to spearhead change

CG Roxane is the first U.S. beverage company to open its own rPET processing plant, which opened in November 2019 in San Bernardino, California. The facility can reprocess up to 35 million pounds of recycled PET annually, which is the equivalent of nearly one billion water bottles.

How does the PET recycling process work?

Recycling PET is a journey that begins and ends with the consumer. The process starts with the consumer making the conscious decision to separate their trash from their recycling. Plastic recyclables and bottles are then collected by a recycling partner, washed and processed to become PET flakes, and are delivered to an rPET facility like CG Roxane’s San Bernardino processing plant. There the PET flakes are turned into rPET pellets which are shipped to bottling facilities to be used again to create new bottles for consumers to enjoy.

Beyond recycling: Smart actions for a green future

While using rPET is a significant step in closing the sustainability gap, there are more ways the bottled water industry is changing to support environmental wellness. On average, 88% of Americans research a company’s environmentally-conscious initiatives before making a purchase. And companies are looking at sustainability from every angle, powering plants with solar power and exploring partnerships with organizations dedicated to protecting natural resources. For example, CG Roxane has planted over 900,000 trees since 2001 through its partnership with American Forests and helped remove close to 12 million pounds of trash from California beaches and waterways since 2009 in partnership with the California Coastal Cleanup, all in an effort to protect and care for the land surrounding their sources while staying connected to their communities.

However, what's perhaps even more significant is that Crystal Geyser® Alpine Spring Water® is the only major U.S. bottled water that is captured directly at its seven natural springs across the United States, and research has shown that knowing the source is the second largest influence when it comes to consumers buying decisions after cost. Crystal Geyser® Alpine Spring Water® is never blended, purified water from the tap or trucked, which reduces its carbon footprint by eliminating the greenhouse gases emitted by vehicles.

Crystal Geyser® Alpine Spring Water®, Simplebut not easy™

To learn more about sustainable water bottling practices, visit www.crystalgeyserplease.com.

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