Greenwashing: Nestle Plastic Water Bottle

I pulled the above image from the One-City blog. The add is for the Nestle Pure Life water bottle, which has an “Eco-Shape” (notice the trademark there). With this fashionably thinner bottle that has 15% less plastic we can all make a difference. Notice the asterisk* next to the “15% less plastic.”


I’ve looked into it and on the Nestle website it says the bottles now have 30-40% less plastic which might be nice. The note for the asterisk was very hard to find; it was covered by other text and itself was not text, it was a text-turned-image so I couldn’t copy and paste, also the color made it hard to read. It’s the grey text here:


The part I can read says, “… .5L bottles across twelve cities. Over 130 different .5L bottles were weighed across the water, soda, juice and tea categories. On average, the Eco-Shape bottle was found to be the lightest .5L bottle on the market containing 30% less plastic when compared to the average of other .5L bottles.” It’s actually really hard for me even to determine what this means. Are they saying they have less plastic when you compare it to the weight of other bottles? Does that mean that they aren’t actually looking at the exact numbers and statistics of how much plastic goes into their product compared to others, they are just measuring it solely by the weight of other same-sized bottles? Does anyone have a better idea at what this means?

It does seem like they are using less plastic than they use to, even if their measurment standards are a bit unreliable. But I’m not sure that I want to buy their product simply because their bottle has a little less plastic. Let’s be honest here, plastic is never really that great of a thing. If it doesn’t get recycled it lasts a super long time and it’s not actually “easier to live with” as the Nestle web-site claims. I’ve become increasingly wary of the plastic packaging that is wrapped around every little thing, like breath mints, fruit at Trader Joes (that’s another story), and water. We are told we can just throw it away, as if throwing it away is going to make it disappear forever…–>

Have you heard about the North Pacific Gyre, the giant mass of plastic soup in the Pacific Ocean that is about twice the size of Texas? See what happens to a good deal of the plastic we produce:

Can’t see the video? Go here.