A Hawke's Bay drinks company has become the first in New Zealand to scrap plastic water bottles in favour of recyclable cans to hold still water products.
Whakatu-based Parkers Beverage Company, which manufactures and distributes brands such as Parkers water, Ō Pure Artesian Water, Deco City Beer, DeVine Wine and 1835 Coffee, announced it had ceased using plastic - totally.
Parkers managing director Doug Speedy said the company made the move to implement a "complex" approach to canning still water for a few reasons.
"Parkers feels they would struggle long term competing against the huge multinational plastic bottle producers based in New Zealand. It is a commodity business where the lowest cost of production wins.
"When you are in a low cost business you can only succeed by producing huge volumes. Parkers was not comfortable producing huge amounts of single use plastic bottles.
"While almost all plastic in New Zealand goes to landfill, almost all aluminium cans are recycled and repurposed. From an environmental point of view, cans are currently a better option than plastic bottles.
"The process to can water is quite complex and it took quite a while to put everything together. It has been over a year in the making and we are very proud of the final product.
"We would also like to point out that in many places you can get safe drinking water from your tap. This is not always practical, Parkers cans hope to give an option to consumers worried about environmental impact when they want to buy packaged water."
Parkers marketing manager Claudia Weber said the move continued the company's goal to bring environmentally-friendly beverages to the New Zealand market, and the world.
"With the eco-friendly bag in box format, Parkers New Zealand Water pioneered the movement of environmentally friendly water solutions for the office, workplaces and at home and is now a well trusted brand in New Zealand.
"Now, Parkers New Zealand Water takes its commitment to concentrate on 100 per cent recyclable products one step further and does away with single use plastic water bottles."
Instead, its water products were be available only in recyclable 330ml aluminium cans.
"Parkers Water is no longer available in plastic bottles," Weber said.
"Cans are light weight, easy to chill, easy to transport. Aluminium is one of the most
recycled – and most recyclable – materials in the market today. As cans can be crushed, they also take up less space in the recycling process, further greatly reducing the carbon footprint.
"No alternative comes close to cans."
Hastings District Deputy Mayor Tania Kerr said the council was "delighted" with such a positive initiative to remove more plastic from the waste stream.
"It is innovative, future focused businesses like Parkers that are making a difference to our environmental footprint. We commend them on their commitment."