Plastic vs. Glass Bottle
It is easy to believe that glass is the better choice in terms of sustainability. When looking into the whole production process of both materials one will discover that it is not as black and white as it seems.
When taking into account the overall amount of energy used in the mining of raw materials, transportation and manufacturing of glass and plastic, plastic surprisingly is the greener choice, even more so when using recycled plastic. Creating a plastic bottle from 100% recycled content uses 75% less energy than its virgin counterpart. At E’stel we switched from PET to using 100% RPET (=recycled plastic) in 2018 for our 1l and 750ml bottles and we are in the process of switching all bottles to 100% RPET.
The main downfall of glass is that the energy needed to produce glass bottles is really high. The raw material needs to be heated to 1200°C and more often than not the energy comes from burning fossil fuels which leads to a high carbon footprint. A similar temperature is necessary to recycle glass. The other issue with glass is that it is quite heavy and transport is therefore less efficient and produces more carbon dioxide.
Glass has its advantages though when it is being re-used many times. This is why we offer a small selection of glass bottles that can mainly be found in restaurants and cafes. To keep the carbon footprint low we do not ship the glass bottles overseas.
The RPET Cycle
We use RPET (= recycled plastic) to make our most popular sizes and we are in the process of switching all sizes to 100% RPET. Once the water has been consumed and the bottle has been recycled it can be used to make a new RPET bottle. Creating a plastic water bottle from 100% recycled content uses 75% less energy than its virgin counterpart. So please always recycle your E’stel bottle or simply re-fill it with natural alkaline water using our eco-friendly 10l box water.
05 RPET water bottles for consumer use
04 Blow moulding on site to reduce transport of blown bottles.
02 MRF (material recovery facility):
Sorted and baled
01 PET bottle being recycled after use
03 PET Facility:
Sorted, washed and formed into tubes
Further Sustainability Initiatives
Besides the initial decision on what material should be used for the water bottles we have implemented a range of initiatives, many behind the scene, with the goal to reduce the overall carbon footprint of our products:
As already mentioned, our 1l and 750ml water bottles are made from 100% recycled plastic (RPET).
We cut the amount of the plastic needed to make our bottles by half by making thinner-walled bottles. That also made them lighter which has a positive impact on the CO2 emission when they are being transported.
We have a modern blow moulding facility on-site to produce our bottles. So rather than bottles we get delivered tubes to make our own bottles. The big advantage is that the tubes need less space and can therefore be transported with lower CO2 emissions. In fact, one container of tubes is the equivalent of 5 containers of blown bottles. We source our tubes from NZ to reduce the energy used for transport.
Instead of plastic we offer environmentally friendly boxed water for the 10l variety. The box is made of 100% recyclable cardboard and a thin, BPA free foil containing the water.
Our eco-friendly 10l box water makes it very easy to re-use your E'stel bottle by simply re-filling it from the E'stel box and still be able to enjoy our natural alkaline water.
Instead of shrink wrapping, all our bottles are delivered to the supermarket in 100% recyclable cardboard boxes. We source these cardboard boxes from New Zealand rather than overseas.
We use recyclable slip sheets instead of pallets. The advantage of slip sheets is that they are a lot lighter and need less space. That way transportation, especially by sea, is much more efficient leading to less CO2 emissions.
We keep our water wastage very low as we use a back flash system in our filtration system.
The bore is close to the manufacturing plant and the plant in turn is close to the port in Nelson. This minimises the transport of the water to the factory and from the factory to the port leading to low CO2 emissions.