European bottled water industry makes recyclability pledge

European bottled water industry makes recyclability pledge
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ TZIDO SUN

The European Federation of Bottled Waters (EFBW) has pledged to increase the collection of PET bottles and up the overall use of recycled PET. This, it said, will create a more circular European economy.

All drink containers used by the industry, be it PET, glass or aluminium, are recyclable. However, the level of collection of PET drink bottles varies substantially across the EU. Some Member States collect more than 90% of PET bottles while others collect less than 20%.

Europe’s producers of natural mineral and spring water believe that PET bottles must be given a second life. Therefore, EFBW is pledging, by 2025, to:

  • Collect 90% of all PET bottles by 2025, as an EU average
  • Collaborate with the recycling industry to use at least 25% recycled PET (rPET) in its water bottles by 2025, as an EU average
  • Innovate and invest further in eco-design and research on non-fossil based plastic materials
  • Engage with consumers who play a key role in preventing littering.

Ensuring that its memebers can actually make good on the new pledges, the EFBW said it plans to work alongside all relevant stakeholders, such as Plastics Recycling Europe (PRE).

PRE’s President Ton Emans said: “Over the last years the bottled water industry has been a front runner in PET circularity. Recyclers are eager to embark on this new journey.

“Today PET recyclers do not have enough feedstock to supply the market. The priority is to drastically improve collection and quality sorting.”