Polar Water Distributor has opted for fully recyclable packaging instead of plastic bottles for its new drink.
Purewater comes in paper-based Tetra Pak cartons, with caps made from a non-food substance derived from sugar cane.
The initiative makes Polar Water the first company here to put its water in cartons made by the Swiss packaging giant. The Singapore-based food service distribution company has been using PET bottles to package its water up to now.
Managing director Chew Thye Chuan said: “We are very excited to provide consumers with Purewater in this renewable packaging.”
The packaging is fully recyclable, with 72 per cent being from renewable materials.
Ms Terrynz Tan, an environment director at Tetra Pak, said the paper-based packaging produces 17 per cent less carbon footprint than fossil-based packaging.
Despite the higher cost of Tetra Pak packaging compared with conventional PET bottles, Polar Water is prepared to further lower the margin of its packaged water.
Ms Rena Chua, brand and marketing manager of Polar Water, said the firm is determined to move out of its comfort zone for the greater good, as “there is no planet B”.
The new packaging is consistent with a surge in the environmental consciousness of consumers. Tetra Pak said 43 per cent of consumers surveyed are now willing to pay more for environmental features.
Besides Tetra Pak as a supplier, other stakeholders also play a role in the recycling process.
Sembcorp is in charge of collecting refuse and sorting out recyclables, while SHA paper mill separates paper fibre from aluminium in the used beverage carton and turns fibre into recycled paper and KPT Recycle transforms the aluminium into boards and roofing.
This circular economy approach echoes the zero-waste campaign by the National Environment Agency, which flags packaging waste for its high generational volume and low recycling rate. A sustainable recycling value chain helps Singapore reduce waste.
Mr Chew said the change to carton packaging is just the beginning of its sustainability efforts.
Polar Water is looking at adopting Tetra Pak packaging for its other variants, such as vitamin water, while exploring other packaging options, including aluminium cans.
A 330ml pack of Purewater is on sale at FairPrice for 80 cents and at Cheers for $1.20, while the 500ml pack is expected to go on the shelves in about three to four weeks.
THE BUSINESS TIMES