Poland Spring has started transitioning its packaging to recycled plastic (rPET) in an effort to be the first major bottled water brand to use entirely rPET for all of its still water products by 2022.
In June, Poland Spring will begin using rPET for its 1-liter bottles. This comes on the heels of the brand launching Poland Spring ORIGIN, a premium offering, in 900 mL bottles made of rPET in April.
“As a company, we’ve already put our stake in the ground when it comes to taking the ‘single’ out of ‘single-use’ plastic bottles," says Fernando Mercé, president and CEO of Nestlé Waters North America, Poland Spring’s parent company. “As we begin to transform Poland Spring, our most iconic brand, to 100 percent recycled plastic packaging, we will begin to bring this commitment to life for our consumers in a tangible way. Bottles like these, which are made from 100 percent recycled plastic and are 100 percent recyclable, are proof that a fully circular economy is within our reach.”
Poland Spring’s current packaging is predominantly made of PET, which is already 100 percent recyclable. The company views its push toward using more recycled materials to be the next phase in making its packaging more sustainable and addressing the issue of plastic waste. Using rPET helps keep plastic out of landfills and oceans, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions compared to using virgin plastic.
However, as recycling rates in the United States still hover around 30 percent, Poland Spring recognizes that in order to fulfill its commitment to use recycled plastic in its packaging, it must also invest in initiatives that help plastic bottles get back in the recycling bin in the first place. That's why Poland Spring, along with its parent company, is collaborating with organizations like Closed Loop Fund to help increase recycling infrastructure. The brand is also expanding How2Recycle labels across all of its packaging, to remind consumers to empty the bottle, replace the cap and recycle when they're done.
The Poland Spring initiative comes months after Nestlé Waters North America announced that it will achieve 25 percent recycled plastic across its U.S. domestic portfolio by 2021. The company plans to continue expanding its use of recycled materials in the coming years, setting the ambitious goal to reach 50 percent recycled plastic by 2025.
“To achieve a circular economy, we, as brand owners, need to inspire people to think and act differently when it comes to plastic,” says David Tulauskas, vice president and chief sustainability officer at Nestlé Waters North America. “I cannot think of a more meaningful way to connect with our consumers than to bring to market a more sustainable bottle that they themselves helped to create simply by recycling.”