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Nestlé Waters North America applauds California for passing new recycled content law

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STAMFORD, Conn. – Nestlé Waters North America applauds the California Legislature for passing Assembly Bill 792 and encourages Governor Gavin Newsom to sign the bill into law. Over the next 11 years, this new law will continue to increase the percentage of recycled content in plastic beverage containers sold in California.

Assembly Bill 792, sponsored by Assembly Members Phil Ting and Jacqui Irwin, passed in the Assembly on September 13th and the Senate in the early morning hours of September 14th.

This ambitious and workable new law will require beverage manufacturers to use 10% recycled plastic in their containers sold in California starting on January 1, 2021. That percentage increases aggressively to 25% by January 1, 2025 and 50% by January 1, 2030. These requirements pertain to all beverage containers subject to the California Redemption Value.

Importantly, the new law includes pragmatic considerations to prevent beverage manufacturers from being unfairly penalized if their good faith efforts to comply are not successful due to factors outside their control. CalRecycle will have the discretion to reduce or waive the standard based on a change of market conditions, recycling rates, the availability of food-grade recycled plastic, or the lack of recycling or processing infrastructure.

“Nestlé Waters North America appreciates that legislative leaders worked with industry and environmental groups to create this landmark piece of legislation,” said Charles Broll, executive vice president and general counsel, Nestlé Waters North America.

NWNA strongly supports the increased use of recycled content and has demonstrated unparalleled industry leadership in its use. In December 2018, NWNA announced a goal to use 25% recycled PET, or rPET, across its U.S. portfolio by 2021 and 50% by 2025.  The company currently uses 50% rPET in all of its individual-sized bottles of Arrowhead Brand Mountain Spring Water and Nestlé Pure Life Purified Water produced in California.

To accomplish this, NWNA works with a number of strategic suppliers of food-grade, post-consumer recycled plastic. Nationally, the company introduced a 700-ml immediate consumption bottle made from 100% rPET for its namesake Nestlé Pure Life brand and a 900-ml 100% rPET bottle for a new national offering called Poland Spring ORIGIN. In June, Poland Spring® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water, NWNA’s regional spring water brand in the northeast, made the industry-leading commitment to convert all its individual-sized still water bottles to 100% recycled plastic by 2022. The conversion has started already, with its 1 Liter and 1.5 Liter still water sizes being made with 100% recycled plastic.

Together, these activities make NWNA one of the largest purchasers of food-grade postconsumer recycled plastic in the nation. It has also made NWNA an industry leader in California, as demonstrated in the company’s recent AB 2530 Plastic Beverage Container Virgin and Post-Consumer Resin Report detailing NWNA’s rPET use, which constitutes 37% of the total volume of PET in the bottles it sold last year in the state.

As recycling rates in the United States still hover around 30%, NWNA views the push toward using more recycled materials to be the next phase in making the company’s packaging more sustainable and addressing the issue of plastic waste.


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