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Consumers are thinking green: protecting the environment and the climate have become key issues in our everyday life. Increasingly, consumers are also keeping environmental considerations in mind when shopping for food; particularly with the choice of product packaging, consumers are deciding to make their own personal contribution to climate protection. Against this background, US-based CRB Group (Overland Park, Kansas) is taking a new approach and has begun offering its ECO-Choice pristine spring water in combifitPremium 500 ml and 1,000 ml carton packs from SIG Combibloc.

Richard Ballard, CEO of CRB Group: “Aside from the elegant and innovative design of the packaging and the handy combiSwift screw cap, our decision to offer our natural spring water in this premium packaging was driven principally by the environmental aspects of the carton pack. We are convinced that the carton pack from SIG Combibloc makes the perfect partner for our pristine spring water. By combining these two elements, we are appealing directly to consumers’ environmental consciousness, offering them the opportunity to do something for the environment and our planet with the personal decision they make at the sales shelf”.

For CRB Group behaving in a future-oriented and environmentally aware manner means offering consumers products that are produced and packaged in line with this demand: Content and packaging should form a single unit. Ballard: “Today, a package needs to deliver more than just convenience. It must also give environmentally-conscious consumers the assurance that the packaged foods they are buying do not put an unnecessary load on the environment“.
Carton packs consist of up to 75 per cent pulp fibre which is obtained from wood, a renewable raw material. They represent an efficient use of resources along their entire life span. Life-cycle assessments confirm that carton packs generate far fewer CO2-emissions than do disposable types of packaging manufactured using fossil raw materials such as crude oil.
In addition, carton packs are fully recyclable. The paper fibres recovered in this recycling process can be reused as raw material for premium paper products, and the remaining components, polyethylene (21 per cent) and aluminium (4 per cent) can also be used in a range of applications. Ballard says: “And even in regions where there is not yet the facility for a comprehensive recycling program, carton packs are beneficial because they can be disposed of in a space-saving way. In their energy recovery properties, too, carton packs offer advantages because the cardboard does not release any more CO2 than was previously absorbed from the atmosphere and stored by the growing tree”.

Carton packs are lightweight and can be transported and stored in a space-saving way. Thus, regarding environmental aspects, the carton pack clearly outperforms other packaging solutions. In 1996 former US Vice-President Al Gore awarded aseptic carton packs the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development. Carton packs are still the only packaging to receive this accolade. ECO-Choice pristine spring water carton packs display the logo of Gore’s ‘The Climate Project Foundation’. The CRB Group donates one cent per package sold to the Foundation.

Pure and natural
Richard Ballard: “Our ECO-Choice spring water complies with all the provisions of the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) and FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration), and in fact exceeds them. The water comes from the Amanda Hills Spring in Etna, Ohio, a natural mineral spring extending over 4,000 hectares and optimally protected by layers of valuable sandstone. The premium water we draw off is regularly tested by independent laboratories, and its purity confirmed. ECO-Choice is one of the purest and safest natural spring waters in the world”. This quality water is packaged by US contract packaging company Island Aseptics (a division of Island Oasis), offering a range of packaging solutions for filling foods and beverages in SIG Combibloc aseptic carton packs.

Hospital as pioneer
In April, the Lawrence Memorial Hospital (Lawrence, Kansas) became the first hospital to completely switch its packaged water from PET bottles to ECO-Choice in the aseptic carton pack from SIG Combibloc. Since June, ECO-Choice has also been available in the retail trade.

SIG Combibloc is one of the world’s leading system suppliers of carton packaging and filling machines for beverages and food. In 2008 the company achieved a turnover of 1,249 million Euro with around 4,100 employees in 40 countries. SIG Combibloc belongs to SIG Holding in Switzerland, which is part of the New Zealand based Rank Group