Vöslauer already managed to set new standards in Austria back in October, with the launch of its 0.5l still PET bottle made of 100% rPET. The innovative packaging, inspired by the desire for greater sustainability, proved to be a hit and resulted in plenty of positive feedback for the Austrian market leader. With the start of the new year, the majority of the product range will now undergo a conversion to this sustainable material in the German market.
Conversion of all product varieties in the 1st quarter
As of 1.1.2019, the bottles for all varieties of mineral water (still, mild, sparkling) – and from March onwards, for all flavours – in the sizes 0.5l and 1l will consist exclusively of 100% rPET in Germany. And all this is made possible with equally low material consumption as for bottles with a lower percentage of recycled material. In comparison to other bottles, the Vöslauer 100% rPET bottles require up to one quarter less material.
Constant improvement through development
“The issues of waste reduction and recycling are on everyone’s lips, and we here at Vöslauer have been concerned with this topic for a very long time, even before it played a role in public perception”, explains CEO Birgit Aichinger. While in many countries it took the introduction of the EU Plastics Strategy for a change in the way of thinking and acting to take place, Aichinger describes how the team at Vöslauer had already started dealing intensively with recycling and the responsible use of the valuable raw commodity of plastic around 15 years ago. “Since then, it has been our aspiration to keep getting better, which means the continuous improvement of our products, bottles, all the packaging from the label to the tray packaging”, Aichinger states. Aside from the recycling ratio (in particular the rPET ratio), a reduced consumption of materials also plays an important role here.
Milestone with potential for expansion
“With the 100% rPET bottle, we have achieved a real milestone, into which we have invested a great deal of time and development work. We are particularly proud of the fact that we were able not only to ensure an equally low consumption of materials, but also to keep the material quality of the bottles just as high as ever”, CEO Herbert Schlossnikl is pleased to report on the launch of the sustainable bottles. Following the pilot phase in Austria, the next step now involves converting the majority of the PET containers into 100% rPET in the German market. However, this is by no means the end of the road in terms of further development: “This is the first big step on the way to a central sustainability goal for Vöslauer”, states Schlossnikl, adding: “By 2025, we want to successively convert all PET bottles to 100% rPET, whereby the availability of materials could turn out to be a huge challenge.”
For Vöslauer, the circular economy is more than mere lip service
Joining around 50 other companies throughout the EU, Vöslauer made a concrete contribution to the EU Plastics Strategy in August. By undertaking a voluntary commitment that was reported to the EU, Vöslauer has pledged itself to an even greater use of recycled material in bottle production. In concrete figures, this means an increase in the use of the current 3,300 tonnes of rPET to 5,500 tonnes of rPET by the year 2025.