Plants provide bottled beverages with a greener tinge

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 12th November 2008

Victorian-based Cool Change Natural Spring Water has launched Australia’s first beverage (spring water) packaged in a bottle made from plants, as they seek to “go green” in an industry often criticised for a lack of sustainability.

Rather than packaging a drink in PET, a polymer (plastic) derived from crude oil, Cool Change Natural Spring Water bottles are made using Ingeo PLA, derived from annually renewable sources – plants.

This new material is derived from plant sugars and requires less energy for production (67% less fossil fuels) which have the flow on effect of producing 90% less carbon emissions in producing the resin required for the bottle. The new polymer also opens up opportunities for increased end of life options such as commercial composting (the bottle can compost in commercial composting conditions of high heat 55C+ and high humidity 90%+).

In addition to the packaging, Cool Change has taking into consideration all aspects of the business in an effort to ensure their carbon footprint is minimised by reducing energy usage then offsetting any green house emissions that have been created – making it the first water in Australia to have a carbon neutral production process (certified by Carbon Reduction Institute).

Cool Change Natural Spring Water is a privately owned business held by the Paterson family and based in Victoria’s Yarra Valley. An agricultural family, they’re made up of two brothers – Richard, James – and Mum, Helen. Having been involved within the water industry since 1991, what started for Richard as the revamping of his family spring water business has shifted towards a journey on education of consumption and waste management. With many obstacles along the way.

Beyond that of bottled water, Cool Change is hoping to expand their wider business to include; improved commercial composting infrastructure in Australia, close loop solutions for the food event and restaurant industry and wider food packaging opportunities (e.g. diversification into milk, fruits, contract packing). And they are beginning to make their mark in the burgeoning Australian bottled water industry, being now available Australia-wide throughout eateries, cafes, health, organic and independent food stores.