Recycled plastic bottles become new trend of green consumption

April 08, 2021 | 08:00
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La Vie’s new natural mineral water products using food-grade recycled plastic bottles have elicited an overwhelmingly positive response from consumers in their first month of hitting the shelves in Vietnam’s market.    
recycled plastic bottles become new trend of green consumption
Recycled plastic bottles become new trend of green consumption

Available on the shelves of the GO!/Big C supermarket chain in Vietnam since the beginning of March, La Vie’s 700ml natural mineral water has garnered great attention among consumers with its bottle made of 50 per cent recycled plastic.

A representative of beverage purchasing at GO!/Big C Vietnam said that the sales of the item have grown rapidly in its first month since launch, thanks to positive responses from green customers.

She added that recycled plastic bottles are becoming popular in many countries and are shaping up to be a new trend for the food and beverage (F&B) industry worldwide. "In line with our sustainable development strategy, we are pioneering bringing eco-friendly products to consumers, such as La Vie mineral water using recycled plastic bottles,” she said.

In the same vein, Tran Thi Mai Suong, Commerce senior manager at B's Mart convenience store chain, said that purchases of recyclable, reusable, and decomposable products had increased sharply in recent years. For example, La Vie mineral water products using recycled plastic bottles are being welcomed by many young people after a few weeks of being sold in the chain.

According to analysts, health benefits, price, and brand trust were the top concerns of consumers in the past, however, nowadays, eco-friendliness is emerging as one of the key purchasing criteria. Consumers are more conscious of their environmental footprint and are actively looking to minimise their impact. This green consumption trend will grow stronger on the back of the rising community awareness of nature conservation.

Therefore, it is not surprising that newly-launched green initiatives now receive enthusiastic responses from customers quickly, from bamboo straws to bagasse boxes, and most recently recycled plastic beverage bottles.

La Vie mineral water products using recycled plastic bottles are now widely available at Vietnam’s major supermarkets and convenience stores, including GO!/Big C, AEON, GS25, B's Mart, and 7-Eleven.

recycled plastic bottles become new trend of green consumption
La Vie recycled plastic bottles are in compliance with national safety regulations for food packaging

Recycled bottles: A sustainability move in bottled water industry

Drinking water products using bottles with recycled plastic content started to appear in the 1990s. Since 2018, major beverage companies in the world have been promoting the use of these bottles in North American and European markets. Governments in many countries also encourage the use of food-grade recycled plastic bottles in order to stimulate the recycling of collected bottles and reduce the amount of virgin oil-based plastic used. Recycled plastic also has a lower carbon footprint than virgin PET.

In Vietnam, recycled plastic is no longer a rarity, but the food-grade one that is used in the local F&B industry is quite a novelty. La Vie is the first mineral water brand using bottles made from food-grade recycled plastic.

La Vie recycled plastic bottles are in compliance with national safety regulations for food packaging issued by the Ministry of Health (QCVN 12-1:2011/BYT), ensuring they are completely safe for users.

La Vie introduced the recycled bottle initiative at the end of 2020. The news was widely shared on social networks and received thousands of positive comments from young people interested in the environment.

Mai Hoa, a resident of Tan Binh district, Ho Chi Minh City is a frequent shopper at GO!/Big C. She said that she often bought bottled water because of its convenience to carry around. However, she is becoming more aware that plastic bottles take years to decompose.

She was very glad when recycled plastic bottles appeared in the Vietnamese market. “When I heard about the news, I was very supportive. I think we need to encourage the initiative to protect the environment,” she said.

Recently, model and travel blogger Tran Quang Dai shared that during his trips to Europe, he noticed that customers there are placing increased importance of sustainability and supporting recycled plastic bottles. They actively express their awareness of the environment and always want to contribute a small part to the process of "greening Earth”.

recycled plastic bottles become new trend of green consumption
Model and travel blogger Tran Quang Dai lauded the recycled bottle initiative

“In my opinion, plastic remains the best material for F&B packaging in many cases as it is very safe and convenient. It is right to restrict the use of plastics, but ultimately plastic is not the problem. It is important that we collect and recycle plastics after use,” Quang Dai said.

At the same time, Quang Dai believes that consumers also need to dispose of garbage in the right place to keep the living environment clean and increase recycling after use.

Only food-grade recycled plastics are used for bottling drinks

According to experts, many kinds of recycled plastics are available today, which are used for different purposes. Plastics containing various impurities are often recycled into non-food-contact applications, such as fibres, outdoor furniture and pots. On the contrary, virgin plastic (such as PET, PP) can be recycled into new bottles for the F&B industry.

Thanks to technological advancements and strict recycling process, food-grade recycled plastic bottles not only meet stringent hygienic and safety standards, but they also bear a very slight difference to virgin plastics. In Vietnam, regardless of whether the bottle is made from new or recycled plastic in the beverage industry, it must meet QCVN 12-1:2011/BYT standards.

By Thanh Van

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