It’s hard to ignore the plastic crisis, but it’s easy to make changes that can help cut needless plastic consumption and pesky single-use production.
That’s why in January 2020, we became the first high-street to-go brand to completely remove all plastic water bottles from our shelves and replace them with the canned alternative, CanO Water – a decision that means we’ll save 180,000* plastic bottles a year.
ITS A YES FROM US
CanO Water is the world’s first mass market, canned water alternative, founded in 2015 by three friends who saw first-hand the damaging impact single use plastic bottles have on our environment after a trip to Thailand.
It is an infinitely recyclable and re-sealable solution to plastic water bottles, and uses an average of 60% recycled content in their cans, compared to plastic single-use bottles, which are made from 50% recycled plastic. They can be recycled and placed back onto shelves in around six weeks, and will be available in both still and sparkling varieties, from as little as a £1 in all 15 Coco di Mama stores.
Coco customers can also get free tap water refills in all stores with their own reusable water bottle, and glasses are available for customers who wish to chill in any of our stores too -find locations and opening times here!
THIS THOUGH? IT’S A NO.
With approximately 8 million tonnes of plastic ending up in the ocean each year, the war on plastic is still raging on and not enough is being done about it by brands and businesses. Annual consumption of plastic bottles is set to top half a trillion by 2021, far outstripping recycling efforts and jeopardising ocean life and ecosystems, coastlines, water systems and other environments (Guardian).
According to a recent report in the Independent, there are ‘more plastic water bottles being sold in the UK than ever before’, and that one’s a ‘no’ from us. So that’s why we’re helping to flip the script on plastic production and pollution with the launch of CANO Water and other sustainability-focused initiatives into our stores.
Why are cans SUPERIOR?
Aluminium cans are infinitely recyclable, so once recycled they will be turned into new aluminium cans and can be re-sold in as little as 60 days. On the other hand, as plastic bottles are so thin, they can’t be recycled to create new plastic bottles. Instead, their fibres are used in things like carpeting, clothing and sleeping bags.
In addition, recycling plastic is more complex, leads to degradation and has lower reuse rates than aluminium – 75% of all aluminium ever produced is still in productive use, having gone through countless loops of its lifecycle. Aluminium is also more lightweight, less power is required to chill drinks in cans, and less transport is generally needed than for plastics.
Aluminium cans use 95% less energy to recycle, with recycling rates in the UK at 74% demonstrating a huge emission saving. They are also more valuable, helping make municipal recycling programs financially viable and effectively subsidizing the recycling of less valuable materials in the bin.
However, the most environmentally friendly option is still to bring a reusable water bottle into store and fill up for free!
A word from Sara McCraight, Head of Brand at Coco di Mama
“Unless we make some big decisions to help customers make the right choices to stop using plastic bottles, it’s not going to get any better.
We monitor our customer feedback trends really closely and the biggest thing they are asking us is to reduce the amount of plastic packaging we have in our stores.
We’re happy to have found a great alternative that we think our customers will love without having to compromise – a great product at an affordable price point (£1) and the right decision for the planet too.
The water in a can stays colder for longer, so actually tastes more refreshing than a plastic alternative. What’s clever about the larger size CanO Water options is that they’re also resealable, which is one of the drawbacks of a typical canned drink.
It’s important for us to be clear that we’re not claiming to be perfect, but we are trying to be better in all the decisions we’re making as a brand and business. The choice to remove plastic water bottles is certainly not going to make us any money and will likely cause a hit to our profitability in the short-term as they cost us more, but we believe it’s the right thing to do for the long-term.
We’re on a mission to completely remove single-use plastic and would encourage everyone else to do the same”.