Fiji Water

overall rating:

0.25

planets

Abby Williams
6/25/2021
No items found.

Fiji Water claims to integrate sustainability within its brand, but its products are the essence of unsustainable water consumption. The brand seems to be highlighting their sustainable efforts by outlining distinct sustainability goals to be reached in the future: transitioning to using recycled plastic for their bottles, reducing plastic waste by creating products with different materials, and reducing their carbon footprint. Although this is the case, the company at its core still produces single-use plastic water bottles which makes it apparent that Fiji Water is just another case of greenwashing.

Fiji’s main products (single-use water bottles made out of plastic) are not sustainable and while Fiji can try and change its production techniques and try to implement sustainable efforts, at their core their product is harming the environment. With the plethora of sustainable alternatives when it comes to water bottles, I don’t think water from the Fiji islands is worth sacrificing a sustainable alternative. I would skip out on Fiji water bottles and go for a reusable water bottle instead.

What it's made of:

0

The main materials of Fiji Water bottles are water from the Fiji islands and plastic. Fiji’s water is sourced from an aquifer on the main island. This poses a problem for residents of Fiji as some areas on the island don’t have clean water. Their bottles are constructed from a high-grade PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic, which is fully recyclable. The plastic also has the opportunity to be transformed into a plethora of products including food and beverage packages, clothing, carpet, automotive parts, and construction materials. Although this is the case, this by no means implies that plastic is a sustainable material. PET is typically made from natural gas and petroleum and coal-tar distillate, fossil fuels that are leading to environmental degradation. Although PET plastic can be recycled, single-use plastic still ends up in landfills because not everyone has information on how to recycle properly or has access to recycling bins and facilities. Because of this, and the exploitation of the aquifer to prevent local citizens from having clean water, I would consider Fiji’s bottles detrimental to the environment.

How it's made:

0.25

Fiji’s bottles are produced in production plants in Fiji. The plastic, caps, and labels are created in other distribution centers and then sent to Fiji to be reshaped into bottles and filled. The bottles are packaged and sent off for shipment. Because of Fiji’s remote location, exporting bottles to the US (their major consumer) as well as other countries uses more fossil fuels compared to bottles produced in a closer location. The company has benefitted the local community of Fiji by employing residents of the islands to work at their respective production facilities. This has created more jobs for residents which is a positive for the company. Although this is the case, Fiji has practiced some shady business practices in the past. In 2010, the Fiji government attempted to have the company contribute more to Fiji’s economy by raising taxes. On their second attempt, Fiji decided to shut down production, close its plants, and fire the workers for at least a day. Although the government and Fiji came to a compromise, the fact that Fiji decided to drastically shut down their plants and fire their employees on the spot is revealing what the company truly prioritizes.

Who makes it:

0.5

The Fiji water brand as a whole has promised to provide the finest quality of water as well as decreasing their impact on the planet, but this doesn't seem to be the case. The brand has seemed to outline specific sustainability goals, such as creating their bottles with fully recycled plastic by 2025, investing $5 million in energy efficiency, producing majoring of the plastic on site, etc. While these goals are outlined, Fiji isn’t transparent about the progress they have made to reach these goals, so their progress on achieving these goals is unknown. Fiji also has its foundation where they’ve partnered with conservation international to fund a trust fund to protect Fiji’s Sovi Basin. From what I’ve gathered, this partnership looks greenwashed; it seems that Fiji has granted conservation international money to perform their work, but Fiji is not doing the work directly. Despite these issues, Fiji is still seeming to incorporate sustainability into its practices which is why I’ve decided to rate this category 0.5 instead of 0.