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Nestle launches rPET-packaged water brand  with recycling program

As consumers increasingly question the environmental viability of bottled water, Nestle Waters North America is launching a new a new brand of natural spring water focused on raising consumer awareness about the importance of recycling. The new brand, called re-source natural spring water, is launching exclusively at Whole Foods Market stores.

The new bottled spring water uses 25% recycled plastic (rPET) in all of its bottles, while participating in a pilot of incentive-based, in-store recycling programs in an effort to increase consumer recycling rates. The recycling program is launching at 26 stores in California and Arizona with a goal of reaching 200 Whole Foods Market stores nationwide by fall 2009.

"We recognize that there are significant challenges related to recycling in the U.S. and are focused on raising awareness and visibility for the issue," said Monique Mims, re-source senior innovations manager. "Through increased consumer education, incentive-based recycling at retail and demonstration of the valuable uses for recycled plastics, re-source is taking an important first step toward changing consumer behavior and increasing U.S. recycling rates."

According to the company, re-source's in-store recycling program provides an added incentive to encourage consumers to recycle. For every plastic beverage container that is recycled at a participating Whole Foods Market store in a re-source-branded GreenOps(SM) tracking station, re-source will donate 5 cents to the national nonprofit Keep America Beautiful, up to $200,000. The contributions will be used to support local Keep America Beautiful recycling programs nationwide.

"We believe that businesses as well as individuals must assume their share of responsibility as tenants of Planet Earth," said Michael Besancon, senior global vice president of purchasing, distribution and marketing for Whole Foods Market. "re-source's use of recycled plastic in its bottles and innovative in-store recycling pilot program will increase recycling awareness and give our customers another opportunity to be part of the solution."

The re-source recycling program at participating Whole Foods Market locations, managed by Waste Management and GreenOps, provides consumers with tools to track and measure their recycling efforts. re-source-branded GreenOps tracking stations feature interactive machines with video screens that allow participants to remain engaged and informed about the recycling process. Consumers who use the recycling machines receive a code that they can use to log on to and keep track of their individual recycling activities.

The pilot recycling program will start in California and Arizona and roll out at participating stores across the U.S. re-source will be available in 700 ml bottles for the suggested retail price of $1.69 each, as well as in 500 ml bottles for the suggested retail price of $1.29 each or $9.99 for a case of 24.

SOURCE: Nestle Waters North America

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