02. Oct 2020
Poland Spring Brand 100% Natural Spring Water has announced a collaboration with the University of Maine and its Forest Bioproducts Research Institute to evaluate and develop bio-based solutions that could serve as alternative packaging for Poland Spring products.
As part of the collaboration, the University of Maine will explore new possible uses of materials derived from sustainably harvested Maine wood, an effort that has the potential to advance the circular economy by contributing to the total utilization of this renewable resource.
"Forestry is a cornerstone of Maine's economy, and the Forest Bioproducts Research Institute was created to provide and promote technology validation and partnerships that will meet societal needs for materials, chemicals and fuels in an economically and ecologically sustainable manner,” said Joan Ferrini-Mundy, University of Maine President.
"UMaine is grateful for Poland Spring's support of our world-leading research, development and commercialization in this area.”
Poland Spring is initiating this collaboration with the University of Maine to assess biomaterial technologies that could serve as alternatives to petroleum-derived, non-renewable materials. This joint effort evolved after Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) sponsored a two-day bioplastics summit at the University of Maine in May 2019 that brought together stakeholders representing all sectors of Maine's forest economy to discuss and explore these issues.
In addition to exploring alternative packaging, Poland Spring parent company NWNA has committed to achieve 25% recycled plastic across its U.S. domestic portfolio by 2021 and reach 50% by 2025. As NWNA's most iconic brand, Poland Spring has called Maine home for 175 years and announced it would be the first major bottled water brand in the U.S. to reach 100% recycled plastic across its still water portfolio by 2022. Poland Spring 1-liter, 1.5-liter, 700-mL and 20-ounce bottles are already available in 100% recycled plastic.
Over the last decade, Poland Spring has given more than $9 million to local Maine community organizations, causes and events through its Good Neighbor Grant Program and has donated more than 800,000 bottles a year to fire and rescue departments, non-profits and communities in need. As the state's fifth largest manufacturing employer, Poland Spring proudly employs nearly 900 Mainers across three bottling facilities – Poland, Hollis and Kingfield – plus ReadyRefresh, the direct-to-consumer home and office delivery teams.