Sweden’s New Carnegie Brewery has unveiled a new beer product PU:REST, which has been produced using recycled water. The new project is a partnership between IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, New Carnegie Brewery and Carlsberg Sweden. IVL’s project manager Staffan Filipsson said: “The main purpose of the project is to highlight sustainable water management and raise awareness of the global water issues and the value of clean water.".
So, what could be the possible problem with such an innovative idea? Recycled water is already used in the maltings industry as well as wider food production, so why not in the drinks themselves? It is certainly not a technological issue, not only are reuse plants already in use, their operational costs are continually improving for the better, further highlighting the case for recycling wastewater. No, the issue is public perception. The idea of drinking recycled water still seems a big stretch for the public and as such, companies are reluctant to potentially damage their brands.
In England and Wales, we use 16 billion litres of clean drinking water every day – that’s equivalent to 6,400 Olympic sized swimming pools. Currently, water companies can provide slightly more than we need – 2 billion litres are available above and beyond what we’re using. In some areas, though, such as south east England, there is no surplus and, as such, these regions are more likely to face supply restrictions in a dry year.