Today, pioneering social enterprise and ethical water company, Belu, has announced that it will become the first water company in the UK to make 100% of its plastic bottles from 100% recycled plastic bottles.
CEO Karen Lynch comments: ‘We have come to the conclusion that where the single use can’t be removed, the answer to our anti-plastics challenge, is in fact, plastic. Our message is to first use less, but when you buy bottles, buy better.
‘Using 100% recycled plastic is the lowest carbon footprint option that can be part of a circular economy.
‘Belu is a social enterprise that gives 100% of profits to charity WaterAid, and our driver is to do the right thing.
‘If you must use a single-use bottle, the kindest thing you can do for the planet is to choose a bottle made from 100% recycled plastic, and not a can or carton.
‘Making bottles from 100% recycled plastic reduces carbon emissions and other pollutants; nothing new needs to be made as it uses a resource that is already here. It will also create demand and value for recycled plastic bottles which will ultimately fuel investment for better local recycling infrastructure.
‘By moving to manufacturing 100% recycled PET plastic, Belu estimates that it will generate about 60% less carbon emissions than a comparable virgin bottle and about half that of a typical aluminium can (which contains 70-73% recycle content). While cartons are closer in emissions, other environmental impacts become more significant. A standard 500ml carton still contains 35% plastic and 5% aluminium foil. Special processes are often needed to recycle them, and collection avenues are limited across the country meaning only 37% of UK cartons are recycled.
‘When we looked at cartons we found that complexities of materials mean that these products cannot be part of the circular economy we so firmly believe in.’
‘While some of the big water companies have trialed individual products made from 100% recycled plastic, there has been no commitment to making this part of their wider business, instead these lines have been given limited distribution.
‘From November 2019, Belu has committed to make 100% of our plastic bottles from 100% recycled plastic bottles. We are the first in the market to completely switch over. All our bottles will now be made from bottles, and they remain 100% recyclable too – so please do recycle.
‘Whilst we are one of the smaller brands in the market to make this commitment, we know it is the right thing to do, and if we do this successfully, other brands will follow, as they did when we were the first market with 50% recycled PET from 2012.
‘We are proud to introduce 100% recycled plastic Belu bottles with our long-standing partners including Pizza Hut, Shake Shack, and Pure.
‘We’ve taken the opportunity to update our labels to ensure that people are completely clear that Belu bottles are 100% recycled, 100% recyclable, 100% of our profits go to WaterAid.’