Encouraging plastic bottle recycling

Location: Global

Impact Area

  • Nutrition
  • Water
  • Rural Development
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Compliance
  • Community engagement
  • Gender balance & diversity
Sep 18, 2012, updated September 2012

Encouraging plastic bottle recycling
PLASTIC BOTTLES:Nestlé helps raise awareness about the importance of recycling plastic bottles.

PET (polyethylene terephthalate) is a common material used for water and soft drinks packaging. In addition to protecting the beverage from production to consumption, it is a lightweight and recyclable material. However, the level of collection and recycling, and the relevant recycling infrastructure available, varies considerably between countries and regions. In addition to contributing to a number of collection systems, we have an important role to play in terms of raising awareness among consumers about their role in collecting bottles for recycling.

Programme description

In 2009, on World Water Day (22 March), Nestlé Waters China launched PET Bottle Recycling Action, a nationwide campaign to raise consumer awareness about recycling PET bottles and encourage them to play their part.

The campaign has three different aspects:

  • The Nestlé Waters China website has been updated to offer general information on the environment and the importance of recycling. The site also features cartoons and games designed to educate the public on environmental issues, and reward membership with raffles to win prizes made of recycled PET (such as T-shirts and even a bicycle). Consumers were invited to participate via leaflets on bottles, flyers and posters
  • An in-store promotion in supermarkets across three cities – Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing– rewarded consumers buying Nestlé Pure Life or Nestlé Deep Spring with products made from recycled PET
  • A press release attracted coverage through more than 50 different target media, and more coverage is expected

Value to Society

In Sicily, Acqua Nestlé Vera and Corepla (a consortium supporting plastic recycling) organised a 27-town educational tour and campaign to encourage the recycling of PET plastic. This involved events engaging children and their parents in educational games promoting the importance of water and the need to recycle plastic bottles. With more than 4,000 children and a similar number of adults attending, the intention was to widen consumers’ understanding of the important part they can play in ensuring plastic beverage bottles are recycled. Nestlé Waters Italy is currently considering the roll-out of this initiative next year.

Meanwhile, in Pakistan, Nestlé has sponsored a study by the WWF-Pakistan and the National University of Sciences & Technology into the fate of used PET bottles in three major cities.

Value to Nestlé

Next Steps