Poland Spring launched an Instagram campaign that creates a photo-based recycling “hotline” for consumers. The activation, which continues Nestlé’s plastic reduction initiative, sorts trash from recyclables and rewards participation with donations to The Recycling Partnership—a non-profit that assists communities with recycling efforts.

From August 12-23, consumers can post photos or Instagram Stories of waste items and tag Poland Spring Water along with the hashtag #NotTrash. The brand, together with The Recycling Partnership, will respond with whether or not the items in question can be recycled.

“We are constantly listening to [consumers] to understand their needs and preferences,” Yumiko Clevenger-Lee, vice president and chief marketing officer of Nestlé Waters North America said in a release. “What we’re hearing is that consumers are concerned and confused about plastic bottles.”


Poland Spring will donate $150,000 to The Recycling Partnership to continue the non-profit’s efforts to increase and improve local recycling efforts. For every qualifying #NotTrash Instagram post, Nestlé Waters North America will donate another dollar up to $2,500.

The cause marketing campaign will be promoted on Z100’s nationally-syndicated “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show” and its US network of 75 affiliate stations.       

The bottled water brand offers a 100 percent recycled plastic bottle for its 1 liter and 1.5 liter still water sizes. In June, Nestlé vowed to convert all its individual-sized still water bottles to 100 percent recycled plastic by 2022 and in 2018, announced plans to make all of its packaging recyclable or reusable by the year 2025.

“How2Recycle” instructional labels will be expanded to all Poland Spring packaging to further assist consumers in keeping plastic out of landfills. This initiative, together with Nestlé’s partnerships were created to help remove “some of the confusion about recycling,” said Clevenger-Lee.

Consumers—especially young ones—cite the environment as a growing concern, but not everyone is willing or able to do something about it. While 91 percent of millennials blamed humans for climate change, only 78 percent said they would be willing to change their lifestyle to protect the environment, according to the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Shaper Survey. Nestlé hopes that a bit of education and awareness will go a long way. 

Other brands have taken to “shock” consumers by installing plastic waste in public view to give a sense of scale.

In November, PepsiCo’s SodaStream brand launched a touring art installation that protested the use of plastic bottles. “Drowning Liberty,” a 20-foot replica of the Statue of Liberty “drowning” inside a steel cage filled with plastic bottles, was created in partnership with the Oceanic Society.

Corona installed billboards in London, Melbourne, Santiago, Bogota, Santo Domingo and Lima last June that depict actor Chris Hemsworth (The Avengers: End Game) surfing with the slogan “From where you’d rather be.” The brand then gathered around 3,306 lbs of plastic from nearby beaches to build sculptures on top of the billboards, transforming the blue ocean surf a “wave of waste.”

Brands are responding to environmental concerns by reducing or removing plastic wherever possible. Single-use items like plastic water bottles and plastic straws are being rejected by a number of brands including Bacardi, Marriott, McDonald’s and Starbucks.