Nestlé shows real bottle in lightweight packaging

Nestlé Waters claims to have developed the UK's lightest bottled water product with the opening of its new £35m production factory in Buxton last week.

The state-of-the-art facility at Waterswallows will produce the Buxton Natural Mineral Water and Nestlé Pure Life brands, which are said to weigh on average 25% less than their predecessor bottles.

This has seen weight reduced on the 50cl PET bottles which feature a flat cap, from 14.8g to 10.7g, while the cap weight itself has fallen from 1.9g to 1.2g. The bottles also feature a shorter neck and ergonomical shape that requires less plastic.

Further weight losses of 46% have been achieved for the company’s smaller 25cl and 33cl bottles, and a special sports cap has been introduced featuring a tamper evident seal that stays within the lid when opened for some of the range.

Speaking to edie, Nestle’s head of sustainability Inder Poonaji said that the new bottles were the result of years of in-house research on lightweighting and lifecycle assessment.

“We have a technology centre for the water bottles … their scope of work is to look at these bottles and everything to do with production of water. They try to look at the full lifecycle of these bottles and where they can reduce impact, and we act upon that,” he said.

He added that the new bottles would generate significant environmental savings across the company’s supply chain in terms of energy consumption and raw materials transportation.

“Within Nestle we are setting standards for ourselves in terms of lightweighting bottles and its those kind of innovations that will really push forward the whole market in terms of reducing environmental impact,” he said.

The company has also extended its waste reduction drive across other aspects of the new factory, by reducing the amount of material used in the cardboard boxes holding the bottles, and also the plastic pallets that transport them.

In keeping with the local environment, the factory has been designed to harmonise with the beautiful surroundings of the Peak District and features recycled Derbyshire dry stone walls.

A sustainable drainage system manages the rain water that runs off from the new site while a heat recovery system transfers heat generated from the bottling lines to provide heat to the warehouse and offices, allowing Nestlé Waters to significantly reduce its total energy output.

The site will enable Nestlé to continue to decrease the amount of water used in its manufacturing and by the end of 2012 it will also be zero waste to landfill. The factory is hoping to achieve an ‘excellent’ grading in its BREEAM certification later this year.

Listen below to hear the full podcast interview on lightweighting with Nestle’s head of sustainability Inder Poonaji.

Maxine Perella

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