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Volvic sweetens green credentials with sugar-based eco bottle

By Rory Harrington , 21-Sep-2010

Volvic has announced the launch of an eco-friendly bottle that is partly made from sugar-cane waste that will contribute towards a 50 per cent reduction in the container’s carbon footprint.

The company said its 50cl Greener bottle will be made from 20 per cent BioPET – a material made from sugarcane waste. The environmentally friendly packaging ingredient is created by combining PET with fermented and dehydrated sugarcane waste.

As well as the inclusion of the BioPET, the company has introduced a range of other measures to cut the packaging carbon footprint of the bottle by 50 per cent, company spokeswoman Felicity McKane told FoodProductionDaily.com. This reduction will be achieved thanks to the inclusion of 25 per cent recycled PET (rPET) and lightweighting the container from 17g to 15g combination, she added.

Breakthrough

Stéphane Cousté, the Evian Volvic’s nature committee director, described the new bottle as a “real breakthrough” for the company.

Launched last week in France and Germany, the bottle was also unveiled to the UK market yesterday and will be available there from December 2010. The company claimed its new container was the first large-scale mineral water PET bottle made using plant material to be launched in these countries and that it was working on extending the material throughout its range in future – although no further timescales were provided.

The mineral water company said it is sourcing BioMEG - the sugar can molasses used as the raw material for the eco-packaging – from Indian Glycols. McKane said this was the only supplier currently capable of producing the product on an industrial scale. As it comes from sugar cane waste the material does not compete with human food, she added.

Speaking on Monday, Couste said: “What we’re announcing today is just the first step to integrating renewable materials into our bottles and is a key milestone in our journey to reduce the global carbon footprint of the Volvic brand by 40 per cent from 2008 to 2012.”

The company said it was also targeting further lightweighting of the 1.5L bottle, increased incorporation of recycled PET its containers and increasing the proportion of shipment of its goods by rail. It added it looking at increasing the plant-based content of its bottles further.