Nestlé Waters North America will use 25 percent recycled plastic for packaging in U.S. products by 2021, trying to increase its role in addressing the country’s recycling challenges.

The benchmark is the latest step toward the broader goal of parent company Nestlé SA to treat plastic as a valuable resource instead of waste.

The company also recently announced it would expand its partnership with rPET supplier CarbonLITE, which is building a third U.S. facility, to be fully operational in Pennsylvania by 2020. Nestlé Waters already buys rPET from the CarbonLITE’s operations in California and Texas.

All water bottles sold under brands including Poland Spring and Perrier are 100 percent recyclable, and the company set a goal of using 50 percent recycled plastic by 2025.

The initial target to reach 25 percent will expand its relationship with key supplier Plastrec, putting Nestlé Waters on track to nearly quadruple use of rPET in less than three years.  Earlier this year, the company worked with Québec-based Plastrec to release a 100 percent rPET Nestlé Pure Life bottle, which Nestlé says it the only major, nationally distributed bottled water using all recycled plastic in the U.S.

"Our bottles were never meant to be thrown in the garbage — we carefully design them to be collected, recycled and repurposed," says Fernando Mercé, president and chief executive officer of Nestlé Waters. "PET plastic is a valuable resource that, if recycled properly, can be used to create new bottles again and again. We're proving that it can be done by making bottles out of other bottles, not 10 years from now, but today."

Nestlé joined other processors and packaging companies that recently signed the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment through the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to address root causes of plastic pollution and waste.

Nestlé Waters, based in Stamford, Conn., says it was the first beverage company in North America to add How2Recycle information to labels, reminding customers to empty the bottles and replace caps before recycling. The company also invests in recycling infrastructure in the U.S.

"Through long-term supplier contracts and our commitment to supporting initiatives to improve collection rates, we are helping to stimulate a more robust recycling market and unlock the potential of a circular economy here in the U.S.," says Mercé.

For more information, visit www.Nestlé