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Califia Farms Moves to 100% rPET Bottles

Plant-based beverage producer Califia Farms switches all its refrigerated milk, creamer, coffee, and tea products to from bottles made from virgin plastic to 100% rPET packaging.

According to Califia Farms, the move to 100 rPET bottles will help reduce its GHGs by at least 19% and cut its energy use in half.
According to Califia Farms, the move to 100 rPET bottles will help reduce its GHGs by at least 19% and cut its energy use in half.

Beverage brands have been increasingly overcoming the hurdles of using 100% rPET for their packaging. These include Coca-Cola and PepsiCo for their carbonated beverages, Dasani, Fiji Water, and Chlorophyll Water for their bottled water products, Ekes-Granini juice in Germany, and even Diageo Whiskey, among a number of other CPG brands.

The most recent to join this esteemed group is plant-based beverage brand Califia Farms. The brand just announced it has transitioned all its bottles in the U.S. and Canada to 100% rPET, with the exception of the plastic cap and sleeve label. According to the company, the move will help reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 19% and cut its energy use in half. The packaging update impacts the brand’s portfolio of refrigerated plant milks, creamers, coffees, and tea.


   See related article on post-consumer recycled material trends, “PCR Content May See Large Increase in Use in the Next Decade”


“This transition to 100% rPET represents a significant commitment to soften Califia’s environmental footprint,” says Dave Ritterbush, chief executive officer at Califia Farms. “While Califia is an inherently sustainable business thanks to the plant-based products we produce, we recognize the importance of ongoing, forward progress in our sustainability journey. By moving to 100% rPET for our iconic curvy bottle, we’re taking a major step in reducing our reliance on virgin plastic and advancing the principles of a circular economy.”

Says Ella Rosenbloom, vice president of sustainability at Califia Farms, “Replacing virgin plastic with recycled plastic is a critical part of closing the loop in a circular economy,”Says Ella Rosenbloom, vice president of sustainability at Califia Farms, “Replacing virgin plastic with recycled plastic is a critical part of closing the loop in a circular economy,”

Califia Farms defines the concept of circularity as one that includes reducing virgin materials and promoting the use of recycled ones. This concept is firmly embedded at the company, it explains. Through the brand’s sustainability programs, including those led by an internal Green Team, Califia has completed several lightweighting projects that have helped slash the total amount of plastic used in its caps, bottles, and labels. Reports Califia, between 2019 and 2023, these efforts have kept 4 million pounds of plastic from being produced.


   Read this related column from Packaging World Editor Matt Reynolds, “Column: If Brands Need PCR, Why is Demand for rPET so Soft?”


“Replacing virgin plastic with recycled plastic is a critical part of closing the loop in a circular economy,” say Ella Rosenbloom, vice president of sustainability at Califia Farms. “When it comes to circularity, we’re focused on accelerating change and thoughtfully considering how best to innovate, circulate, and eliminate the plastic that we use. This rPET project has been an enormously rewarding and complex one that has involved countless team members focused entirely on driving positive impact.”

While all Califia bottles in North America have successfully converted to 100% rPET, the brand will update its packaging to communicate the change to consumers starting in the spring of this year. The refreshed packaging includes QR codes linking to an rPET landing page as well as the brand’s sustainability reports. Both include additional details about Califia’s work with leaders in the sustainability space, including Climate Collaborative, an industry group taking action against climate change, and How2Recycle, a standardized labeling system that promotes circularity by providing consistent and transparent on-pack disposal information to consumers in the U.S. and Canada. PW

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