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Plant based compostable water bottles to help reduce tourist waste

A New Zealand rental car company is tackling the plastic bottle epidemic in the tourism industry by offering plant-based compostable water bottles.

Apex Car Rentals has partnered with social enterprise, For The Better Good, replacing all single-use water bottles at its branches with Better Bottles – a bottled water made from plants that is reusable but also compostable at the end of its life.

Alongside the Better Bottles campaign, Apex is also educating tourists about the need to reduce single-use plastic bottles.

Grant Nye, general manager at Apex, says the number of travellers coming to New Zealand is ever increasing and Apex is working to minimise the negative effect tourism has on the environment by offering an alternative to the plastic bottle.

A global survey of more than 16,000 travellers found that nearly two in three (65 per cent) admitted to consuming more plastic water bottles when abroad than when at home, citing 'fear' that tap water abroad is unsafe (70 per cent) and convenience (19 per cent) as the main determining factors.

Grant says the number one item left in rental cars are plastic bottles.

"From what we see at Apex, on average, people buy two or three bottles of water per day when travelling and given the increasing numbers of tourists coming to New Zealand that is a lot of plastic bottles every year," he says.

"Partnering with For The Better Good is the first step for Apex to reduce its impact on the environment as part of a wider initiative to be a more sustainable business.

"Tourists who travel here often don’t trust the local drinking water and are buying single-use plastic bottles as a result. For The Better Good has a network of more than 200 ‘refill stations’ throughout the country, including the filtered water stations we have installed at all our locations."

For the Better Good offers the only waste-free, regenerative system for bottled water in New Zealand, taking responsibility for their product post-sale through their closed loop collection system; Better Collection.

Collection points are dotted throughout New Zealand (including all Apex sites) where customers can return their used bottles, preventing them from ever ending up in landfill and ensuring they are then composted at one of For The Better Good's four compost sites.

Jayden Klinac, founder of For The Better Good, says it is great to see Apex taking steps to address the waste issue in the tourism industry.

"We have developed a bespoke system for Apex. Tourists will be offered a Better Bottle to reuse during their time in New Zealand and when they are ready to leave, it can be returned to the branch to be collected and composted by us.

"As more businesses develop circular systems, we can start to promote New Zealand as a forward-thinking country that is shifting towards more sustainable solutions.

"Education and taking responsibility for our business’ waste is the first step to becoming more sustainable."

Better Bottles are now available at Apex locations throughout New Zealand.

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