Nestlé Waters North America announced it has signed an agreement with recycled PET plastic (rPET) supplier CarbonLITE and that CarbonLITE will expand its U.S. operations by building a third facility in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania.
The new contract builds upon Nestlé Waters’ existing relationship with CarbonLITE, one of the largest producers of food-grade, post-consumer rPET and allows the beverage company to further expand use of recycled materials in its packaging. The company currently purchases rPET from CarbonLITE’s existing facilities in California and Texas.
“We are pleased that CarbonLITE will be locating a facility in a region important to our manufacturing footprint,” said Bill Trackim, vice president and head of supply chain and procurement at Nestlé Waters North America, in a statement. “Being able to purchase rPET in the area helps us better support the regional economy while promoting environmental sustainability through the use of renewable and recyclable materials in our packaging.”
CarbonLITE anticipates the facility will be in full production by early 2020 and will have the ability to recycle more than 2 billion post-consumer bottles a year. The new 200,000-square-foot processing facility is anticipated to save 60,000 tons of carbon annually by using post-consumer materials and produce 80 million pounds per year of food-grade rPET pellets.
“Nestlé Waters continues to be a leader in their sustainability efforts,” said Leon Farahnik, chairman of CarbonLITE Industries, in a statement. “We are proud to have grown with them for the past seven years and proud to expand our relationship in our state-of-the-art facility in Pennsylvania."
Nestlé Waters, which has two bottling facilities in the Lehigh Valley, uses recycled plastic in a number of its brands including Nestlé Pure Life and Deer Park, which are bottled locally. The company has been increasing the amount of rPET it uses in its packaging since 2011, and in February 2018, Nestlé Waters launched a 700 milliliter Nestlé Pure Life bottle made of 100 percent rPET.