Will Poland Spring stop selling water in plastic containers?

Seal of the waters of Nantucket, MA

Seal off the waters of Nantucket, MA

Sign the Petition

I’ve started the petition “Tell Nestlé to stop selling water in plastic bottles.” Please take a few seconds to sign here and please share this moveon.org petition on social media.

Introduction

Plastic water bottles are bad for the environment, and are totally unnecessary.  The environment is not the bottled water industry’s primary concern — making money is.  The global environmental impact of the bottled water industry should be everyone’s concern.  Every consumer in America that buys bottled water is partially to blame for the many square miles of plastic trash floating on Earth’s oceans.  If you don’t know about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, you should. Is it hard to fill up a reusable, non-plastic water container and bring it wherever access to tap water might be temporarily limited?  No, it isn’t.  While most Americans have never experienced true thirst, we are polluting the world’s oceans with plastic bottles, for no reason but temporary convenience.  Plastic bottles can be replaced with glass bottles. Another way the bottled water industry could lessen its environmental impact would be to utilize paper cartons instead of plastic bottles.  Of course, even modern paper cartons contain some plastic, but it’s a start.

Initial Dialogue with Poland Spring (Nestlé)

Comment submitted on August 5, 2015 to Nestlé (which now owns Poland Spring) via http://www.polandspring.com/#/contact_us:

Dear Nestlé Waters North America Inc.,

There is a company called Boxed Water is Better (www.boxedwaterisbetter.com) that has been successfully marketing drinking water available in paper cartons instead of plastic bottles. Will you please start selling Poland Spring water in paper cartons instead of plastic bottles too? I believe that doing so may increase your sales and have a positive effect on the environment. Thank You, Preston Leonard Boston, Massachusetts

Nestlé’s Response:

August 5, 2015 Dear Mr. Leonard, Thank you for taking the time to contact Poland Spring® Brand Natural Spring Water regarding your comments and suggestion to offer the water in paper cartons. We welcome your questions and comments and appreciate this opportunity to assist you. We would like to assure you that we have reported your comments to our Marketing team. We appreciate your interest in our products. You can visit our website our website for the latest information on our products and promotions. Sincerely, Beverly Watson Consumer Response Representative Ref:26649845 —

Photographs of Poland Spring Bottles on Nantucket

Below are photographs I took of Poland Spring water bottles washed up on the remote western edge of Nantucket Island, Smith’s Point.

Poland Spring water bottle

Poland Spring water bottle with label nearby

Poland Spring water bottle

Poland Spring water bottle (note distinctive shape of bottle and cap)

Poland Spring water bottles with other plastic trash

Poland Spring water bottles with other plastic trash

Below is a photograph of Boxed Water is Better in a refrigerated display case above Poland Spring bottled water (location: Provisions, Nantucket, MA).

boxed water is better

“IMAGINE A WORLD WITHOUT PLASTIC BOTTLES. WE DID.” (Boxed Water Is Better)

Photos of beached Poland Spring plastic bottles between ‘Sconset Beach and Low Beach, Nantucket, MA taken on August 7, 2015 are below.

Poland Spring bottle washed up between Siasconset and Low Beach

Poland Spring bottle washed up between Siasconset and Low Beach

Poland Spring bottle near nesting area

Poland Spring bottle near nesting area

sconset 3

Photo of beached plastic bottle between Dionis Beach and Eel Point, Nantucket, near a Piping Plover and endangered shore bird nesting area:

dionis

Discussion

Based on my first-hand observations in August, 2015, the majority of the plastic bottles littering the beaches of Nantucket were Poland Spring bottles.  I deliberately surveyed portions of shoreline as far away as possible from heavily populated areas.  All of the Poland Spring bottles I photographed appeared to have washed ashore from the Atlantic Ocean, rather than carelessly deposited where they lay by tourists.  There were so many of these bottles resting on the sandy beaches of Nantucket, that it was hard to go more than a few hundred feet without seeing at least one.  The strange part was that the more remote the beach, the more plastic bottles there were, particularly on the surfside of the island.

On Nantucket, trash and plastic debris is enough of a problem that someone started a Facebook group about it (www.facebook.com/acktrash).  As Poland Spring points out on its website, “only about 30% of PET plastic bottles get recycled.” On the same page, in an effort to tout itself as a “green” company, Nestlé claims “Every bottle produced by the Poland Spring Water Company is recyclable. Recycling is one of the easiest and most beneficial ways we can all help the environment.” Recycling is a feel-good measure and it is not a complete or effective solution.  I challenge Nestlé to completely stop selling water in single-use plastic containers.  Common sense dictates that the best way to keep plastic out of the oceans woud be to stop selling consumer goods wrapped in plastic.  Bottled water is no exception.

Information about Poland Spring

The Poland Spring brand is owned by Nestlé Waters North America Inc., which is owned by Nestlé S.A., the largest food company in the world by revenue, ranked #72 on the Fortune Global 500 as of 2014.

Timothy B. Brown, CEO
Nestlé Waters North America, Inc.
900 Long Ridge Road, Building 2
Stamford, CT 06902-1138
203-863-0240
www.nestle-watersna.com
www.polandspring.com

Contact: www.nestle-watersna.com/en/info   /  www.polandspring.com/#/contact_us

Facts about plastic and the environment

  • Plastic trash causes the deaths of more than a million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals annually.
  • It takes approximately 500-1,000 years for a plastic water bottle to degrade.
  • Over 63 billion plastic bottles are dumped into landfills and oceans each year.
  • There are billions of pounds of plastic in our oceans.
  • Americans throw away 35 billion plastic water bottles every year.
  • The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the largest ocean garbage site in the world, twice the size of Texas.
  • North American plastic consumption per capita was 326 lbs in 2010, up more than 100 lbs from 2001.
  • The United Nations Environment Program estimated in 2006 that every square mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of floating plastic.
  • Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth 4 times.
  • Plastic in the ocean breaks down in to such small segments, that pieces of plastic from one plastic water bottle could end up on every mile of beach in the world.
  • Over the last ten years, we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century.
  • Sea turtles confuse floating plastic garbage for food.
  • Marine mammals often ingest and become entangled in plastic.
  • According to the EPA “every bit of plastic ever made still exists.”

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