Oonly Opens Bottling Plant With Revolutionary RefPET Tech

Recycling

Oonly Tisztán Víz has opened a HUF 1.5 billion bottling plant in Pannonhalma, where Hungary's first refPET refillable bottles of mineral water rolled off the production line in mid-January.

Oonly refillable bottles can be refilled an average of 25 times before being recycled and remanufactured into refPET bottles. With this solution, the life cycle of a bottle is much longer than that of a single-use PET bottle. A single multi-uset bottle guarantees the consumption of 37.5 liters of water over 25 refill cycles, using some 80% less plastic over its entire life cycle than a single-use PET bottle.

"Nearly 100% of household water consumption in Hungary is with single-use PET bottles. However, our research confirms that there is significant consumer demand for future-conscious solutions that take into account our environment. Oonly is the first company in our country to offer refillable natural mineral water in a suitable packaging for households. We would like to see environmentally responsible mineral water consumption spread in our country, as in other European countries. Excellent water in sustainable refillable bottles - that's what we believe in. Packaging waste should be minimized and bottle washing and refilling is the best way to do this. To achieve breakthrough waste reduction success and reduce our carbon footprint, we need truly green solutions that have been proven to work internationally," said István Polony, managing director of Oonly.

Oonly's refillable exchangeable bottles are a good alternative for consumers who want to actively protect their environment but don't want to give up natural mineral water and its benefits. The source of the spring in Pannonhalma provides crystal clear water with excellent mineral content, the company says. 

"In Hungary, more than half of the 3.3 billion beverage containers packaged each year are plastic bottles, so there is huge potential in refillable bottles, so-called refPET, which offer a sustainable solution. Nowadays, there is also a growing interest in sustainable, green products in Hungary, and hopefully, the use of refillable bottles will gain ground," said Csongor Bajnóczki, senior sustainability consultant at Denkstatt.

Oonly's products have been available in 1.5 liter, non-carbonated, and carbonated versions since January 22 at kifli.hu.

Reviving the Recycling Traditions

A new mandatory return system was introduced in Hungary on January 1, which means that shops charge a deposit on glass, aluminum, and PET bottles, which is returned to the customer when they take the bottles to a return point.

Still, most of the returned packaging is single-use. As a more environmentally friendly solution, Oonly not only fits into the deposit system but also revives the past of the returnable bottle. In Hungary, the return system for exchangeable bottles dates back to the 1980s, when it worked very well for soft drinks, mineral water, milk bottles, and soda siphons, but was discontinued in the 1990s with the advent of global trade and single-use products.

Oonly's refillable bottles are returned to the factory, where they are cleaned at high temperatures, degerminated, refilled with mineral water and the cycle starts again.

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