Mar 13, 2009
Association punts environmental stewardshipBack
© Reuse this
Sanbwa technical director Charlotte Metcalf says that these guidelines form part of Sanbwa's audited guidelines and standards. "We believe that the industry has a responsibility to continuously improve its protection and conservation of water resources wherever possible and also to contribute to reducing the consumption of energy resources," she says.
The Sanbwa logo emblazoned on each bottled water product is a guarantee to consumers of the manufacturers' commitment to stringent energy and water saving policies, reports Metcalf.
Sanbwa's environmental standards include measures for protecting the water source, ensuring the sustainability of the source, preventing contamination of the source and demonstrating practical social responsibility.
Protecting the water source is important for Sanbwa. Metcalf says that each member has to use water from sources that are sustainable and renewable. In this manner, the hydrogeology of the source is investigated.
Hydrogeology is the area of geology that deals with the distribution and movement of ground water in the soil and rocks of the earth's crust. The source of the water should be well protected from agricultural activities in the catchment area so that no contaminants can get into the water used for bottling.
Further, part of the sustainability standard involves measuring the use of water for every volume of finished product.
Improved effluent management is also a key focus area for members, as is the disposal of solid waste such as paper, plastic, steel, aluminium, cardboard, glass, wood and liquid waste such as oil, waste syrup and wastewater treatment plant sludge.
The Three Rs
Sanbwa requires members to increase solid waste recovery to 71% of total waste, through the implementation of programmes to reduce, reuse and recycle every part of its product and manufacturing processes.
"Recycling plastic bottles in which water is bottled is mandatory for all members. The bottles are made from polyethylene therephthalate (PET), an oil-based material that is the basis of most plastic beverage packaging. It is 100% recyclable," asserts Metcalf.
Further, Sanbwa has associate membership with PET recycler Petco. Petco's main members include manufacturers, importers and sellers of PET products. These members pay Petco a voluntary recycling levy of R250 for every ton of PET converted into products.
Metcalf believes that the bottled water industry has progressed beyond a simple business model of focusing purely on profit and loss. She highlights a philosophy the association would like to uphold, termed ‘true cost.'
"True cost is understanding the bigger picture and takes into account the total ecological impact of the bottled water industry," she says.
"I think every industry should have a ‘second set of books', which asks the questions about the full ecological impact throughout the product's lifecycle. Therefore, questions about how much energy and water was saved and recycled and where the environment is affected, needs to be asked," she adds.
Metcalf says that the industry uses water and energy wisely and has come under undue attack from environmentalists in the past owing to the use of PET in bottles.
However, the industry is receiving better press and is seen to be mindful of the environment. Further, the industry shows that ‘going green' translates into capital savings too. "If the manufacturer reduces energy use and cuts down on water use, then money will be saved," concludes Metcalf.
Edited by: Laura Tyrer© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Water Week News
The assessment data from the Department of Water and Sanitation’s Green Drop water quality certification programme suggests that municipal performance in wastewater management has improved steadily and significantly over the last five years since the programme was...
Gaseous carbon dioxide (CO2), provided by gas products and services company Afrox, has been successfully integrated into a water treatment system at coal miner Optimum Coal’s water reclamation plant near Hendrina, in Mpumalanga. The system treats acid mine drainage...
Owing to its water-intensive nature, new mining and infrastructural development needs to be carefully considered in South Africa, says Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO Joan Warburton-McBride, who believes that, for the same reason, hydraulic...
Recent Research Reports
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
This Week's Magazine
Projected capital expenditure (capex) in the South African automotive assembly industry should reach a record R7.48-billion this year, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) in its 2014 fourth quarter business review. Capex...
After several years of navigating project-threatening red tape and currency fluctuations, the 4.4 MW Bronkhorstspruit biogas power plant, which will supply clean energy to a leading automotive manufacturer in Gauteng, is expected to enter production before June....
South African paper and pulp producer Sappi reported earlier this month that it would build a pilot plant for the production of low-cost Cellulose NanoFibrils, or CNF (nanocellulose) at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen in the Netherlands.
The long-term outlook for Nigeria is a country that has the potential to be very strong. So affirmed International Monetary Fund (IMF) Nigeria Mission Chief and Senior Resident Representative Dr Gene Leon on recently. "But we are starting from a point of huge...
Poor infrastructure planning and inadequate maintenance are becoming increasingly problematic for new developments and the associated infrastructure required to support such developments. In many urban and rural municipalities, the state of infrastructure has been...
Next ArticleConsulting firm revives irrigation project