WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF BOTTLED WATER?
We believe that bottled water helps people drink more water throughout the day, which is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. While our category today is inseparable from plastic, it does not have to remain that way. As the world’s largest bottled water company, Nestlé Waters is uniquely placed to shape a more sustainable future for this huge industry. We want to invent a dramatically new, additional approach that complements bottled water, creating a whole new lifecycle for this seemingly very simple product, no matter where it’s consumed – at home, in the office, on the go, or in a restaurant. It’s a huge ambition.
The PET plastic that we use for the majority of our packaging today is the best solution, but it’s not without challenges. Conventional plastic is not seen as a credible biodegradable material, as it requires fossil fuels and recycling rates are still far from being what they need to be. Meanwhile, carton-based packaging is not a viable alternative as consumers want to be able to see the water through the packaging. But there are innovations in packaging and delivery systems that we might not yet have considered or tested.
That’s why we want to work with the right partner to scout for new, complementary alternatives and to find new, additional ways to make tasty, quality drinking water available to our consumers. We’ll source and test solutions that companies of all sizes (from start-ups to established groups) might have already in the market or plan to launch – for mineral water, spring water and purified water. The chosen solution will need to be see-through, allow for branding, protect water quality and not require any municipal works (such as hundreds of kilometers of new pipework). It also needs to be credible in the eyes of eco-conscious consumers if we’re going to make a genuine difference to how we access water.
This is a long-term challenge. The sooner it is met the better. Once we have selected the most promising solutions, we’ll pilot them and afterwards look to roll them out to the wider Nestlé Waters organization.
Why it matters
Consumers strongly expect a solution with a neutral impact on the environment and wish to be convinced that a sincere, eco-responsible approach coming from a big brand is possible. Working as true partners, we can create that groundbreaking solution and lead the way for the industry.
Every project on HENRi has signed off funding of US$50,000 to pilot a proof of concept in market.