Friday, March 1, 2013

Committed - One Plastic Bottle at a Time

I cannot get over what companies will do to trot out how responsible and eco-friendly they are when their product IS ALL IN PLASTIC SINGLE-USE BOTTLES! It never ends!!!! 

A friend pointed out that they received samples of bottled water WITH their newspaper. Meaning, they really couldn't refuse it, it just came to their home. The kicker was on the back, on the BACK of the PLASTIC BOTTLE, it said, "Carbon Neutral Product." Great. I'm so relieved, here I thought there might be something environmentally inherently BAD about your product, in a single-use plastic bottle. But since it says carbon-neutral right on the label, I sure feel SO much better.

This friend did not want to out the brand. I have no such compunction, so I asked her, she told me, I'm outing them. 

And here's what they have to say about being a concerned, eco-friendly bottled water company (my comments, of course, are in parenthesis after each scintillating statement):

ICELANDIC GLACIAL IS COMMITTED TO PROTECTING & PRESERVING THE ENVIRONMENT (uh huh)

This commitment is evident throughout our company and every aspect of our supply chain including raw materials, energy usage and distribution of product to consumers, including all ocean shipments. (Oh DO go on...)

SUSTAINABLE SOURCE
The Ölfus Spring is naturally replenished from mountains in the north of Iceland. Using less than .1% of the overflow to the sea of the Ölfus Spring in its bottling operation, Icleandic Glacial is a careful steward of this precious resource. As a result, Zenith International, Europe’s leading food and drinks consultancy, has declared the Ölfus Spring certifiably sustainable. (You don't say?)

POWERING THE PLANT
Our facility is fully run on naturally green energy (hydro and geothermal). (Well, that's actually pretty cool. Go on! I'm listening.)

PACKAGING

Our commitment to the fight against global warming is also reflected in our packaging, which is 100% recyclable. The outer case packaging of Icelandic Glacial is made from 75% recyclable packaging. Consistent with our initiatives to further reduce our carbon emissions, we have also achieved a 10% reduction in our PET preform weights since 2008. (Recyclable, you say. Please show me the percentage of your bottles that YOU are collecting as a company and thus ensuring this is happening. Just because you say it can be done doesn't mean it's getting done. You have passed that responsibility on to the consumer. The Bottled Water Association claims that in 2011, 38.6% of bottles were recycled. http://www.wasterecyclingnews.com/article/20130220/NEWS02/130229987/plastic-water-bottle-recycling-rate-jumps-almost-20 1) I'm not sure I believe them, consider the source and 2) that still a hell of a lot of bottles out there. Billions, still. So please tell me again how this is OK.)

SHIPPING
Once bottled, we utilize space on cargo vessels that would otherwise be returning to the US and Europe empty. Our low emission shipping policy allows us to get our water into your hands while leaving the smallest carbon footprint possible. (The smallest carbon footprint possible would be to NOT drink water from thousands of miles away. If we were meant to drink your water, we would already live there.)

CARBON NEUTRAL
After working with the CarbonNeutral® Company in 2007, a leading carbon emissions consultant, Icelandic Glacial was certified as CarbonNeutral® for both its product and operations – an unprecedented move in the beverage industry.

We have made a commitment to assess our CO2 emissions and reduce them wherever possible on an ongoing basis. Only once this full process has been carried out and a net-zero carbon footprint achieved, can a company carry the CarbonNeutral® Company stamp of approval. Our efforts have been rewarded with international recognition, most notably winning the 2007 Bottled Water World Design Awards for Best Sustainability Initiative presented at the Global Bottled Water Congress. (Blah... blah... blah... To me, that sounds like, let's compare which nuclear waste is better and give it awards for being less nuclear waste-y.)
 

Forgive me if I don't do backflips over how wonderful your product is. And tell me I'm wrong about single-use plastic bottles. And tell me again how this doesn't sit in trucks and warehouses after it was so lovingly shipped in already-coming cargo containers, in heat, only to leach something other than BPA that we don't yet know about into the water. Oh, and above all, please tell me what chemicals DO comprise your plastic bottles. You can't, can you? Because THAT'S a proprietary secret that only the plastic manufacturers know, and we won't find out there is something just as FUN as BPA still in there until... when? The truth of the matter is, once this leaves you plant, which I'm sure is wonderful, you get to pretty much wash your hands (heh little water joke there) of the whole thing and don't really have to care about what happens anymore. 

Right?

Right.