Evian's New Water Bottle Contains Recycled Plastic

Evian recently announced a new design for their plastic water bottles that will help the company reduce their environmental impact.  The new bottles are lighter weight and include recycled plastic.  Evian is making an effort to join the sustainability movement, but will it be enough to convince bottled water critics?

Evian's New Design
The new Evian bottle design, which was announced in March 2011, contains 50% recycled PET and uses 11% less plastic than the previous bottle design.  The bottle design is part of Evian's larger sustainability strategy to reduce their carbon emissions 40% by the end of 2011.  The new Evian bottles are still 100% recyclable, and Evian hopes that their lighter, more compact-able design will encourage consumers to recycle, since the bottles will take up less space in recycling bins.

Evian's new bottles made from recycled plastic will help the company compete with other bottled water brands such as Aquafina, which will soon release bottles made completely from renewable plant-based plastic, and Dasani, which is currently using the PlantBottle design that includes 30% plant-based plastic.

Criticism of Bottled Water
The new bottle design will reduce the company's environmental impact, but critics of bottled water are unlikely to be swayed by Evian's new development.  The bottled water industry has come under attack from both consumers and environmentalists who claim the product is unnecessary and wasteful.  Although bottled water advertising tells consumers the water is fresh and natural, according to the 2011 Bottled Water Scorecard released by the Environmental Working Group, many bottled water companies, including Evian, do not publicly release information about their purification and water treatment methods.

Aside from carbon emissions created in the production of plastic bottles, much of the environmental impact of bottled water is in the hands of consumers who choose whether or not to recycle empty water bottles.  After all, just because a plastic bottle is 100% recyclable doesn't mean 100% of consumers will recycle it.  According to the EPA, the US recycling rate for PET bottles, such as those sold by Evian and other bottled water manufacturers, was 28% in 2009, meaning that only 28% of the PET plastic bottles produced were recovered for recycling.

Despite criticism, bottled water companies such as Evian are holding strong and continuing to sell their bottles, although Worldwatch Institute claims the growth of the bottled water industry has been slowing in recent years.  The recycled material used in the new Evian bottles makes them a little more eco-friendly.  Whether or not that's enough is up for debate.

Photo Credit:  stevendepolo