Among many reasons why EU Green Deal supporters should love natural mineral and spring waters, we chose 7 that demonstrate both the long heritage and tradition of the sector’s considerations on environment and source protection as well as pioneer practices for achieving high goals of recycling and PET collection towards the carbon neutrality of the whole sector.
Natural mineral water producers don’t just talk about water, we are all about water, preservation, protection of water sources and responsible recycling habits, sustainable packaging and many other environment protection principles because water is at the core of our organisation.
European Green Deal priorities include protecting our biodiversity and ecosystems, reducing air, water and soil pollution, moving towards a circular economy as well as improving waste management and ensuring the sustainability of our blue economy and fisheries sectors. Natural Mineral Waters Europe (NMWE) along with our members, tries hard to pave the way towards building the foundations of healthy, circular and sustainable European food systems, while supporting the European Green recovery.
NMWE is the voice for more than 550 European natural mineral and spring water producers and we are fully committed to ensuring that the high safety, quality and environmental standards of natural waters are recognised and maintained. As a trade association, we strive to do our part to contribute the effort towards Europe being the first climate-neutral continent.
Because water is at the core of our organisation and we share an inherent connection with our natural resources. We are fully aware that clean water is interconnected with fresh air, healthy soil and biodiversity – the values embodied in the European Green Deal.
Here is our take on 7 reasons we chose to demonstrate:
Natural mineral and spring water producers have a long tradition of protecting the environment around their water sources. Some of our members have been doing so for as much as 100 years.
Furthermore, NMWE producers have long expertise and are very active in protecting water sources from pollution and contamination.
We use the expertise and the know-how and share this knowledge freely on a European level for the public good.
Natural mineral and spring water producers all over Europe have different projects on reforestation. They plant hundreds of trees in their catchment areas to maintain healthy ecosystems. Natural mineral water producer „Gerolsteiner“ is just one of the examples that co-operate with forestry through tree planting campaigns.
Natural mineral water producers are very active in preserving biodiversity. Some of our members have ‘bee farms’ to increase biodiversity in their catchment areas. One of the examples is Spadel which is proud to use beehive houses with over 50,000 bees as guardians of the environment and a way of monitoring biodiversity. Some NMWE members like Danone protect rare bird species like the Red Kite and several species of bats in the Massif Central in France in partnership with the Bird Protection League (LPO).
We fully support the EU goal on carbon-neutrality. Many of our members like “Evian” and “Vöslauer” are already carbon-neutral and many others like “San Pellegrino” or “Perrier” will achieve net zero this year. By signing the EU Code of Conduct for sustainable business and marketing practices, the natural mineral and spring water sector brings forward ambitious aspirations on the packaging, carbon-neutrality, resource-efficiency, and biodiversity and commits to concrete actions in those fields.
More precisely, we are committing to help our members on their journey to carbon neutrality, so the whole sector can become carbon-neutral in the next 10 years. The natural mineral and spring water sector will undertake a decarbonisation study in 2022.
Our product is water and water is healthy by nature. Within the EU Green Deal (Farm 2 Fork Strategy), the EU pushes for healthier and more sustainable lifestyles. Drinking water is one of the healthiest lifestyle choices you can make. Regardless of which kind of water you prefer. Natural mineral waters, spring waters, and tap water all have a special role to play. NMWE is proud to promote healthier drinking habits and making water people’s first choice.
For several years now, NMWE has been strongly promoting Deposit Refund Systems (DRS) as a way to tackle beverage packaging waste. With the new goals of the Single-Use plastic Directive and the Circular Economy Action Plan, it is even more evident that promoting DRS is the right way to reach the high goals of PET collection and the use of recycled content.
Recently, Natural Mineral Waters Europe together with UNESDA Soft Drinks Europe and Zero Waste Europe called on the EU to facilitate the beverage industry’s transition to circularity by developing a legal framework for setting up new efficient DRS for beverage packaging.
All the packaging that is used by natural mineral and spring water producers is already 100% recyclable, be it PET plastics, aluminum, or glass. We don’t use any packaging material that can’t be recycled bottle-to-bottle. That makes our sector a pioneer in recyclability of packaging.
Beverage packaging already achieves higher than average recycling rates, including those for PET bottles, which are the most recycled form of plastic packaging in the EU. Fully aware that more needs to be done to increase collection and recycling, we believe that a collaborative effort between all value-chain actors will be necessary to reach our shared ambitions for Europe. That is why NMWE is actively involved in several pan-European initiatives to promote a Circular Economy and collaborate closely with public authorities and consumers.
The European Green Deal is introduced as the path towards transforming the EU into a modern, resource-efficient, and competitive economy. It is a plan for the reduction of the effects of environmental pollution and a push towards environmental recovery with the aim for Europe to reach zero net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050. We at NMWE and the whole sector of natural mineral and spring water producers believe in this mission and its importance. We strive to be part of the solution and to be a strong partner towards reaching the goals set by the European Commission.