Poland Spring says ‘no’ to watered-down activism with new recycling initiative

In its first campaign since selling the brand to private investors in April, Poland Spring, part of BlueTriton Brands (formerly Nestlé Waters North America), aims to pursue its sustainability goals and advance social good. Here is the scoop.

Inspired to act in the face of the many challenges created and exacerbated by the pandemic, more people than ever engage in volunteer efforts and causes for social, economic and environmental good. And even bottled water companies – which have long been criticized for their use of single-use plastic and their role in increasing global pollution – are getting involved.

Poland Spring and its sister brands Deer Park, Ozarka, Arrowhead, Ice Mountain and Zephyrhills today launched a new campaign called “Made for a better tomorrow”. The campaign launches the new brands’ one-for-one pledge, a guarantee that for every person who commits to recycling their bottle during the campaign, brands will donate a bottle of water to communities in the same. region. The initiative is designed both to raise recycling rates (as it stands, only 30% of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic is recycled in the United States) and to expand access to safe drinking water clean and safe. It ends on October 14.

Satisfy a need for environmental – and social – good

To distribute the donated bottles, Poland Spring and its sister brands are joining forces with an association to fight hunger. Feed America, as well as a network of regional organizations including Ayuda, Navajo Health Command Operations Center and Five loaves of bread and two fish. With the help of these organizations, the water brands aim to help communities across the country who have been particularly affected by the pandemic, who are recovering from natural disasters or who face barriers to accessing water. drinkable. Through its one-for-one pledge, BlueTriton Brands will donate a minimum of 200,000 half-liter bottles – and up to 3 million bottles.

“These donations are going to communities across the country who need it most – from the Navajo Nation in the west, where 30% of households do not have clean running water in their homes, to McDowell County, in. West Virginia to the east, where much of the community’s water has been contaminated by years of coal mining, ”said Yumi Clevenger-Lee, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of BlueTriton Brands.

The campaign’s kickoff also coincides with Ice Mountain’s shift to using 100% recycled plastic in its water bottles. The change marks the latest such change in the brand lineup: its four other sister brands have committed to packaging water in recyclable bottles made from 100% recycled plastic. “This effort not only contributes to a circular economy where bottles are made with other bottles, but can also help prevent plastic from entering landfills, oceans and waterways,” BlueTriton Brands said. in a press release.

Experts believe this move bodes well for sales performance as well. “Consumers and governments have increasingly asked brands to make their products sustainable,” says Duane Stanford, editor and publisher at Beverage Digest. “Brands that respond will be higher on the shopping lists, especially for younger consumers.” And the six water brands supporting the new campaign will certainly be looking for a boost, given that, year on year 2019-2020, Nestlé has lost around 1.6% of its market share (now BlueTriton, the group still controls about a quarter of the US still bottled water market).

‘Made for a better future’ is part of Poland Spring’s larger program MadeBetter sustainable development initiative, whose goals included switching to 100% recycled plastic in still water packaging. Through MadeBetter, Poland Spring is also investing in R&D on bio-based packaging in collaboration with researchers at the University of Maine, who see the potential of sustainably harvested wood as an alternative to plastic.

In addition, BlueTriton Brands only operates bottled water facilities in the United States that have achieved Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) certification, indicating that the company uses water in a manner that is both environmentally responsible. and socially fair. BlueTriton is working with The Recycling Partnership in its efforts to increase access to recycling and education, and has also invested $ 6 million in the Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund to support projects that help increase recycling capacities through United States.

Thirsty for engagement

Created by Mission, a New York-based marketing consultancy, “Made for a Better Tomorrow” features animated films made for each of the six BlueTriton water brands. “From the brand’s research, we’ve heard that consumers want to take action to help solve the problems facing our planet, but they are looking for leadership from brands and companies to lead the way and provide solutions. solutions, ”says Katie Rappaport, Commercial Director at Mission. Rappaport says that, through animated videos designed for each brand, he was able to tell the story of plastic bottle circling – which can be catalyzed by the simple, everyday action of recycling.

Rappaport also recognizes the need to encourage participation – while keeping in mind the precautions and convenience of Covid. “We recognize that secure face-to-face interaction has been a challenge over the past year, which is why we’ve designed a digitally-focused, easily accessible and community-driven campaign to empower people an easy way to help wherever they are, ”Rappaport said. Consumers can commit to recycling their bottle by scanning the QR code on the bottle or by visiting one of the six water brands’ websites. “We believe that the campaign should be additive and not annoying,” adds the spokesperson.

“Designed for a better future” will be further activated through the promotion of digital and local paid influencers. “More than ever, consumers want to buy from brands with determination and integrity,” says Clevenger-Lee. “Our consumers want to play a more active role in protecting the planet and supporting their local communities – especially as the pandemic is exiting. We wanted to leverage the power and scale of our brands to harness that momentum and make a difference, encouraging consumers to recycle more by connecting this important habit to giving back to communities in need.

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