Nestlé Waters North America, Greenwich, Conn., received the 2010 Gold Connecticut Quality Improvement Award’s Innovation Prize for the latest edition of its Eco-Shape half-liter bottle. The bottle uses 25 percent less plastic than its predecessor, the company said.

The Eco-Shape bottle weighs an average of 9.3 grams, and the latest edition uses 60 percent less plastic than the company’s pre-Eco-Shape PET bottle, which was first introduced in the mid-1990s, Nestlé Waters said.

By using Eco-Shape, Nestlé Waters has reduced its carbon emission equivalents by more than 356,000 tons since 2007, the company said. The bottle also has a label that is on average 35 percent smaller than its previous label, enabling the company to save 10 million pounds of paper each year, it said.

The Connecticut Quality Improvement Award uses the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award for Performance Excellence as criteria for the award and seeks to advance innovative programs that improve quality, performance and marketplace competitiveness.

“As a company that depends on natural resources, sustainability is an integral part of our values and business, and we understand that reducing the amount of plastic in our bottles – or ‘lightweighting’ – is the best thing a beverage company can do to reduce its environmental impact,” said Kevin Mathews, Nestlé Waters’ director of health and environmental affairs, in a statement. “Our next-generation Eco-Shape bottle is the latest step in our company’s long history of addressing our products’ life cycle through innovation.”