The European bottled water industry has promised that by 2025 90% of PET bottles will be collected and new bottles will contain at least 25% recycled PET on average in Europe. The obligations of EFBW (European Federation of Bottled Waters), designed to accelerate the transition to a circular economy, are fully in line with the commitments of the Iceberg Ice Dree.
What is a Circular Economy?
The principle of the circular economy is that previously considered "waste" and end-of-life products are treated as a resource or raw material by themselves.
Containers for beverages used by the industry, be it PET, glass or aluminum, are recyclable. In many ways, PET is the ideal material for preserving the taste and purity of bottled water users: not only recyclable, light, healthy and safe for consumers.
PET plastic is already the highest recycled plastic in the EU. The level of collection of PET bottles, however, varies considerably across Member States, with some collecting more than 90% PET bottles, while others collect less than 20%. This means that our packaging today is part of the unacceptable phenomenon of disposal along with other waste. Something the industry is looking for.
We are glad that the four promises made by the entire European bottled water industry are fully in line with our position. Throughout Europe, industry is committed to fulfilling its role in protecting the environment from plastic pollution.
The answer is greater cooperation between all the stakeholders in the chain; from producers and recycling to authorities and consumers. With these four promises, EFBW brings together bottled water producers to work together with all stakeholders to ensure that empty PET bottles are a valuable resource, not waste.
Four Point Strategy
Collect, assist, update and engage: promises are a four-point strategy that aims to speed up circularity by ensuring that European PET bottles will find a second life as a raw material.
The starting point significantly improves the collection and sorting of used PET bottles. This can only be achieved if other key stakeholders play their role, but bottled water production will be a driving force that will ensure that 90% of all PET bottles will be harvested in Europe by 2025 (EU average ).
Environmental progress depends, of course, on a sound economic basis. Recycling will only work effectively if there are reliable markets for high quality recycled PET (rPET). So, in line with circular economy principles, bottled water production is committed to encouraging the use of recycled PET by using it to produce new bottles, aiming to include at least 25% rPET by 2025 *.
Two other key elements of each sustainability strategy are innovation and education. EFBW members promise to invest in ecodesign and R & D on innovative plastic materials made from renewable non-fossil bio-resources. They will also engage with users who play a key role in preventing discarding in order to support them in understanding the optimal disposal of packaging.