Harrogate Water bottles to contain 50% recycled content

Britain's oldest water brand, Harrogate Water, has stepped up its plastic efforts with the announcement that all products will contain 50% recycled content from April 2018.

Harrogate confirmed it has secured sufficient availability of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which it says is one of the “best examples” of easily-recyclable packaging, producing fewer greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and using less energy in the manufacturing process.

Chief executive James Cain said the introduction of recycled PET represents a “significant investment” for the business. The amount of recycled PET content will match that of Harrogate’s glass bottles, which have been produced with 50% recycled glass content for several years.

Cain said: “We all have a responsibility to ensure that we dispose of our packaging properly and recycle our bottles so that they can go on to become another bottle or other useful product, just as we already do with our cans and glass bottles.

“We shouldn’t think of them or refer to them as ‘single use’; they can have an infinite number of lives.”

All materials used by Harrogate are recyclable and the company runs zero-waste-to-landfill operations. Harrogate has previously worked with environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy to raise consumer awareness around recycling PET plastic bottles.

Growing pressure

Harrogate joins a wave of organisations vowing to tackle the plastics issue. The BBC announced it will launch a new “three-step plan” to remove single-use plastics from its operations by 2020, while a host of retailers, including IcelandWaitrose and Asda have also agreed to slash the amount of single-use plastics they use.

The UK Government’s long-awaited 25-year Environment Plan pledges to eliminate all “avoidable” plastic waste by the end of 2042, but with businesses and some councils committed to tackling the issue ahead of that timeframe, pressure is growing on ministers to act.

According to new statistics released by Defra on Thursday (22 February), plastics is just one part of the problem. UK recycling rates are stagnating and there is a very real chance that England, Scotland and Northern Ireland could fail to meet a targeted 50% recycling rate for 2020.

George Ogleby

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