PATH Transitions to a Fully Aluminum Bottle - Here's Why!
Our priority at PATH, since day one, has been pursuing optimal sustainability above and beyond pervasive single-use bottled water. It's the reason why the original PATH bottle was entirely aluminum. Our mission was to have an infinitely refillable aluminum bottle; however, the cap was too thin and flimsy to sustain our ideal refillable solution. After continuing to find the perfect aluminum lid, the decision to implement a temporary, thick polypropylene top was made to provide a more reusable, safer option that could extend well beyond a few uses.
Ultimately, the shift helped to increase those extra refills and thus the overall sustainability of a PATH bottle. The reusable plastic top was the switch needed to ensure the bottle's long-term reusability. At the same time, we developed a thicker, safer aluminum top, which wasn't available with a temper-proof solution on the market then. So we had to create it.
The PATH to improved sustainability
Let's be honest; any brand with a mission to "do things better" should also acknowledge how they can constantly improve their process, supply chain, and final product along the way. As a global community, we have so many processes that need improvement; stopping at "acceptable" is, frankly, unacceptable, and we feel it's our job to continually push the boundaries for maximum sustainability in the bottled water space. This takes transparency and a long-term commitment to the goal of true sustainability.
So, now that we've found the solution for a thicker, fully aluminum reusable cap with a biodegradable tamper-evident seal made of corn kernels, we are moving away from the polypropylene cap that saw us through this transition back to fully aluminum. The new cap can already be seen on shelves throughout the country. You've seen the new aluminum cap for those who have participated in the CVS x PATH 7-Day Challenge.
Why fully aluminum over plastic?
Aluminum is endlessly recyclable and has a Closed Loop Circularity Rating of 92.6%, versus plastic which has a 26.8% rating and, in the best case scenario, can only be recycled 2-3 times max. After that, plastic must be discarded as polymer chains will no longer bind. According to the Aluminum Association, aluminum has a value of about $991/ton versus plastic which is only valued at $205/ton. What this indicates is the strength of aluminum in a post-consumer market.
Aluminum, especially our new thicker cap, is a more durable material than plastic, meaning it can be used for longer periods before needing to be replaced. This makes the switch to a fully aluminum bottle the obvious next step for PATH to improve sustainability to help meet collaborative partners' demands for a cleaner planet. Furthermore, aluminum is a lighter material than plastic, and it can be made into packaging that takes up less space, which can help reduce transportation's impact on the environment.
Reusable vs. single-use
Single-use plastic bottles are used once and then discarded, contributing to the large amount of plastic waste in the environment. According to the National Parks Service, Americans alone dispose of around 35 billion plastic water bottles annually. In contrast, reusable bottles can be used multiple times before they need to be replaced, reducing the overall amount of waste. Recycling reusable bottles lessen the energy and resources required to produce new bottles from virgin materials.
The switch to a fully aluminum bottle by PATH supports the company's commitment to reducing plastic waste. Aluminum bottles can be recycled indefinitely without any loss of quality, and the recycling process for aluminum requires only 5% of the energy needed to produce new aluminum from raw materials. By using aluminum bottles, PATH can reduce its reliance on single-use plastic bottles and help to decrease the amount of plastic waste in the environment.
The transition to a fully aluminum bottle
The transition from a plastic top to a fully aluminum bottle is a process that requires careful planning and execution. PATH is taking several steps to ensure a smooth transition to a fully aluminum bottle. We have narrowed down the ideal specifications, including finding suppliers who use sustainable production methods and have a good track record of meeting delivery deadlines.
We're also ensuring that the production process for fully aluminum bottles at scale is as efficient as possible, optimizing the manufacturing process to minimize the environmental impact.
PATH - the future of bottled water
Switching to a fully aluminum bottle has several benefits for the planet. Aluminum bottles can be recycled indefinitely without any loss of quality, and the recycling process for aluminum requires only 5% of the energy needed to produce new aluminum from raw materials. Additionally, aluminum bottles are more durable and long-lasting than plastic bottles, reducing the need for constant replacement. By switching to a fully aluminum bottle, PATH is taking significant steps towards improving sustainability for bottled water and taking a stance against all plastic waste.
We encourage plastic waste reduction. Keep a look out for more fully aluminum bottles where PATH is sold. We can all play our part in combating the plastic crisis by refilling. Together, we can make a real impact and pave the way toward a more sustainable future.
The team at PATH is thrilled about this transition, as it will improve the durability and reusability of PATH bottles. The move also aligns with our biggest commitment - combating our plastic crisis.
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