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Founded in 2004 to reduce consumer dependence on single-use plastic water bottles, Klean Kanteen is now taking its longtime sustainability commitment to the next level.
The Chico, Calif.-based insulated bottle brand on Monday announced it will make its products with certified 90 percent post-consumer recycled 18/8 stainless steel beginning in 2022. By using certified recycled steel instead of virgin steel, the brand said it’s “extending the life of raw materials and reducing [its] environmental impact.”
Klean Kanteen said the switch “will result in a 40 percent reduction in steel greenhouse gas emissions, a 30 percent reduction in energy demand, and a 60-80 percent reduction in ecosystem impacts.”
“Since our inception, we have made climate action a priority,” said Jeff Cresswell, co-owner and co-CEO of Klean Kanteen. “From using Lifecycle Assessment tools to evaluate the environmental impact of our products, to installing high-efficiency solar panels at our corporate office and purchasing carbon offsets and renewable energy credits, we’ve proven it’s possible to use business as a force for good. Evolving to use recycled steel was the most impactful next step we could take, and we’re thrilled to partner with Intertek to certify our recycled stainless steel—it wasn’t easy, but the results are worth it.”
Read more: Planning for a plastic-free trade show
The brand said Intertek, a third-party quality assurance certifier, “will ensure Klean Kanteen maintains above industry safety and quality standards and delivers on its Strong-As-Steel guarantee.” Intertek’s seal will be on the packaging for the newly recycled steel products, and a “90% Recycled Steel” icon will be displayed on packaging and engraved on each Klean Kanteen product made with the certified recycled stainless steel.
Bringing recycled steel to its production process is on-brand for Klean Kanteen, which is a certified B Corporation, Climate Neutral certified, and a member of 1% for the Planet.
The move is also timely. It comes as the outdoor industry prepares to gather at two trades shows in the next two weeks—The Big Gear Show and Outdoor Retailer Summer—where plastic waste is sure to be apparent even as brands and event organizers stress the importance of reducing single-use plastic cups and bottles.
Klean Kanteen was one of the early adopters of the Plastic Impact Alliance, which Outside Business Journal Editorial Director Kristin Hostetter co-founded in 2019 to reduce plastic at industry trade shows. The coalition now boasts more than 400 outdoor industry brands united in their goal to nix single-use plastic from the outdoor industry.