Shoppers across the eastern seaboard will soon be able to enjoy bottled water that doesn't pile additional plastic into landfills across the country. Poland Spring has announced plans to sell their water in bottles that consist solely of recycled plastic by the end of 2021, CNN reports. The Maine-based brand, owned by Nestlé, said it would begin using recycled plastic when creating its one-liter bottles this month—all still water products will eventually be bottled using products that do not require the creation of any new plastic.
"We're putting our money where our mouth is," David Tulauskas, the chief sustainability officer for Nestlé Waters North America, told the Portland Press Herald. According to Tulauskas, water bottles are often made from a material called polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, that is hard to recycle. But new technology and better sorting practices will allow Poland Spring to recycle the material for food-grade containers, despite the fact that new plastic is cheaper to use, Tulauskas says. "We do need more suppliers producing food-grade, high-quality [recycled PET]", Tulauskas told CNN.
Poland Spring is just one of Nestlé's brands that will begin to use recycled materials in manufacturing new products. The company has previously stated that it intends to make plastic bottles for more of its brands that are composed of at least 25 percent recycled materials by the end of 2021—a goal that the European Union also has in place for manufacturers overseas.
Poland Spring is the second largest bottled water manufacturer in the United States, according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation, which means their efforts could make a noticeable dent in plastic pollution attributed to the beverage industry. "This is proof that a fully circular economy is within our reach," Fernando Mercé, president and CEO of Nestlé Waters North America, told the Press Herald.
Recent research suggests that environmentalists across the globe have drastically underestimated the amount of plastic pollution that plagues our ecosystem. In the United States, companies like Poland Spring and Nestlé are among other brands that are attempting to stem plastic use and curb pollution issues overall.