FIJI Water: five years to switch to a circular economy

Posted on 27 August 2020.

Like other mineral water brands, in October 2019 the US water brand announced that its plastic bottles would be made from 100% recycled materials by 2025.

"The transition to 100% recycled plastic is the cornerstone of our sustainability policy."

October 2019, USA: The Wonderful Company, owner of the FIJI Water brand, announced an initiative to improve its plastic use. The brand announced that all of its plastic bottles would be made from 100% recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) - a rigid plastic - by 2025. Following in the footsteps of other mineral water brands (see box).

"The transition to 100 percent recycled plastic is the cornerstone of our sustainability policy," said Elizabeth Stephenson, at the time President of The Wonderful Company. "We are committed to taking steps to move towards a more circular economy, encouraging recycling, but also reuse."

To reduce its recourse to single-use bottles, among other things the company will offer 10 liter water fountains for the home and 20 liter bottles. These two containers will use up to 76% less plastic.

At the same time, the brand wants to make improvements to its bottles and further reduce the amount of plastic used to produce them.

The brand's commitment to a more sustainable world is not limited to plastics. In partnership with the environmental NGO Conservation International, FIJI Water has managed to preserve more than 16,000 hectares of rainforest on the island of Viti Levu, Fiji's largest island.

It has also partnered with local community members to plant 325,000 new trees.
Earlier in the year, The Wonderful Company decided to donate $750 million to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) to promote climate change research. Part of this research will focus on the study of bioplastics.

In the footsteps of Danone and Nestlé

The FIJI Water brand is not the only one in its sector to have decided to adopt a circular model. In January 2018, Evian announced its ambition to be the first Danone Group company to produce 100% of its bottles with recycled plastic (PET) by 2025. Three months later, it was Nestlé’s turn to commit to making 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by the same date.

Veolia partners both the Danone Group and Nestlé. In addition:

  • Veolia is a founding member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, and its CEO, Antoine Frérot, is one of the organization’s two Vice-Presidents. The creation of the Alliance was announced in London on January 16, 2019. It brings together some thirty global companies from the plastics and consumer goods value chain. The purpose of the Alliance is to help eliminate plastic waste in the environment, particularly in the oceans.
  • In October 2018, Veolia signed the "Global Commitment" launched by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Program to eradicate plastic waste and pollution generated at source.