Thai Namthip Ltd, the producer of Namthip drinking water, has installed 700 million baht (approximately $22 million US dollars) worth of new machinery to produce drinking water in eco-friendly packaging at its Pathum Thani plant.
Charnvit Charindhorn, the senior vice-president for new categories and business development, said the move is part of Coca-Cola's modernization of its production technology.
The parent company had expressed concern about the possible environmental impact of the Rangsit-area plant.
The new production line can put out as many as 1,200 bottles of Namthip drinking water per minute, more than double the capacity at the Namthip factory in Bangkok's Hua Mak area.
Yesterday saw the relaunch of the Namthip brand, now in a new squeezable bottle that will gradually replace the old bottles.
The newly designed and fully recyclable PET bottle uses 35 percent less plastic than the old design and can be crushed into a smaller size for easier storage in recycling bins.
Its manufacture also emits less carbon dioxide into the air.
This is the lightest PET bottle in Thailand, which becomes the sixth market in Coca-Cola's global network to introduce it, after South America, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Vietnam.
"Sustainable packaging is one of our priorities in Thailand. We offer a more environmentally friendly choice for consumers to help make the world a better place. Our research shows that Thais no longer choose beverages based solely on taste and quality but consider how environmentally friendly the brand is as well," said Rehan Khan, the business development director at Coca-Cola (Thailand) Ltd.
He said 100 million baht (approximately $3.1 million US dollars) has been earmarked for marketing activities for the relaunch including the use of popular singer and actor Montonn "Jay" Jira as the brand ambassador.
The company expects Namthip drinking water will become the leader in the 18-billion-baht drinking water sector in the near future with at least a 20 percent market share.
The brand is already in the top five with a 10 percent share.
The overall drinking water market is expected to grow by 10-15 percent this year.
Source: Bangkok Post, Thailand