UK bottled water firm Belu has announced today that it is moving all of its bottles to 100% PET recycled plastic, as it has the “lowest carbon footprint” when compared with alternatives.
Belu describes itself as a “social enterprise” and supplies catering companies, restaurants and hotels with mineral water. Its long-standing partners include Pizza hut, Shake Shack and Pure.
The company claims that by switching over to 100% recycled PET plastic bottles from virgin plastic, it will reduce its carbon emissions by 75% when compared with moving to aluminium or cardboard.
Commenting on the plans, the company’s chief executive, Karen Lynch, said: “Where single use can’t be removed, the answer to our anti-plastics challenge is in fact plastic. Using 100% recycled plastic is the lowest carbon footprint option that can be part of the circular economy”.
Belu is not the only company to announce a move towards 100% PET bottles. Coca Cola’s bottling company Coca-Cola HBC announced plans to move the packaging of three of its bottled water companies over to 100% recycled content earlier this year, saying that aluminium had a higher carbon footprint.
Coca-Cola’s decision did spark debate in the aluminium can and wider packaging industry, with aluminium recycling company Alupro telling letsrecycle that calculating carbon emissions was complex and two different Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) models could render strongly opposing results (see letsrecycle.com story).
According to Belu, using recycled content is the best environmental option as “nothing new needs to be made as [using recycled PET bottles] uses a resource that is already here”.
Belu describe itself as an enterprise that gives 100% of its profits to the water charity WaterAid. A spokesperson for Belu said that in total tit has given £4 million so far to WaterAid, “helping to reach more than 270 000 people with clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene”.
When approached for its tonnage figures on the UK market, Belu was unable to respond as its figures are currently being audited.