Available to purchase individually or as part of a £3 meal deal, the cans of water from the CanO Water brand, are now available at 700 Tesco stores in the UK.

“Aluminium cans have the highest recycling rate of any product out there and a recycled can could be back on the shelf as another one in just 60 days,” CanO Water’s co-founder, Ariel Booker, said.

Two large UK food and drink wholesalers, Bidfood and Brakes will also supply CanO Water, after responses from retailers and customers highlighted the demand for alternatives to plastic bottles.

Tesco has committed to removing all packaging which is ‘hard to recycle’ from the chain’s own-brand products by the end of 2019. The supermarket chain’s Little Helps plan includes packaging targets of halving packaging by weight against a 2007 baseline by 2025 and has reduced packaging by weight by 37% since 2007 – the baseline for the target.

Other targets include making all packaging compostable or recyclable and ensuring all paper and card is sustainably sourced.

Whereas much of the plastics debate has focused on marketing biodegradable or compostable materials, Tesco has become the first supermarket to offer canned water.

Can do attitude

The recycling rate for aluminium drink cans continues to increase year on year, hitting 72% in 2017 (up from 70% in 2016). The material is also constantly recycled, with almost 75% of all aluminium ever produced still in circulation today.

In fact, a report from the non-for-profit organisation Alupro claims that the UK will be able to achieve an 85% recycling rate for aluminium cans by 2020 and 90% by 2030, based on existing infrastructure and collection systems.

Recent Defra statistics found that, for all packaging waste, recycling levels are up from 64.1% in 2014 to 71.4% in 2016. But this is still lower than 2013 when recycling levels reached 72.7%. Worryingly, the amount of recyclable packaging waste ending up in landfill or destroyed has increased by 15.7% compared to 2013 – an extra 446,000 tonnes.

Plastic and wood remain the two least recycled packaging materials, at 44.9% and 30.9% respectively. These figures have deviated little from the previously recorded year (2014) where rates sat at 37.9% and 31.4%. Globally, 43% of plastic bottles are recycled.

edie’s Responsible Retail 2018

Solving key challenges – including modern slavery, supply chain involvement and the circular economy – will be one of the key themes of edie’s third annual Responsible Retail conference, taking place on 20 September 2018 at 99 City Road, London.

The full-day event has been designed for the retailers, sustainability professionals and key stakeholders that are looking for the information, insight and inspiration required to seize the sustainability opportunity.

Find out more about Responsible Retail 2018 and register to attend here.

Matt Mace

Comments (1)

  1. Seema Suchak says:

    What are the carbon implications of producing and recycling cans instead of plastic bottles? Water bottles made of PET are actually quite easy to recycle.

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