Still Unaware of Recycling? More Pompous Education

It’s bottled water, Nestle, PR Newswire, Facebooktwitterblogwebsitesocialmediaplan, all wrapped into one. It’s brand-new Re-Source(TM) natural spring water, Nestle’s new greener-than-thou entry into the more-environmentally-aware bottled water market. They’re out to raise our awareness and educate us about recycling! And, we’ve got Whole Foods,, Cradle to Cradle(SM) AND Keep America Beautiful to round out the festive enviro-bandwagon.

Capsulized, what this PR-social media onslaught is all about:

  1. Yet another pricey bottled water (700 ml, $1.69) but in a 25% recycled plastic container focused on “raising consumer awareness about the importance of recycling.”
  2. A sparse and complex system for recycling those bottles at few selected Whole Foods markets. (Initially, 26 in California and Arizona with “goals” for more.)
  3. A stated objective to achieve a 100% recycled Re-Source(TM) container via burdening guilt-laden consumers to return the bottles while “tracking” their efforts via web.
  4. A chump-change (for Nestle, anyway) maximum $200,000 non-profit contribution solely dependent on the tortured efforts of the above-mentioned consumers.

Wow! For those who love bottled water’s convenience, here’s a bottled water that’s actually MORE labor intensive than reusable water bottles! While bottled water has it’s appropriate time and place, WHO would do this? Who would actually buy this water, haul the empties back to their Whole Foods re-source-branded GreenOps(SM) tracking station (if available), register and track their efforts via the web… all for Nestle’s 100% recycled goal, a nickel per bottle for Keep America Beautiful, and a ready supply of overpriced packaged water?

Call me a cynic, say I’m ridiculing a noble effort. The simple truth, as I see it, is: recycling is a third choice behind the higher goals of NO-USE and RE-USE. I don’t believe we should congratulate ourselves on recycling a resource that we didn’t need to consume it in the first place.

Use only what you have to. Re-use whatever you can. Don’t be wasteful. Simple.

UPDATE/AFTERTHOUGHT: For more reading pleasure, awareness and education, check out Waterwired’s post and link earlier this year to the 2008 corporate citizenship report from Nestle Waters North America. (Pretty infographics, judge the content for yourself!)

2 replies
  1. Molly Simms
    Molly Simms says:

    RE: “We didn’t need to consumer in the first place”

    Oh go drink a bottle of soda then. And when you’re done, pat yourself on the back for it being picking the “better” for the environment choice. As if that’s the case. Soda has a much higher carbon footprint and is worse for your health. Why not go after soda? Oh, yeah… That’s right – because bottled water is an easy target. Lame.

  2. Gayle Leonard
    Gayle Leonard says:

    re: Why not go after soda?
    I’m not a soda drinker myself, but I do in fact agree with you and your point is well taken, not to mention soda’s role in the obesity epidemic.

    But I don’t, and won’t, go after soda here because:
    1) This blog is focused on water, and
    2) soda does not flow easily from our taps.

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