Highland Spring Announces Ambition To Close the Loop On Shrink Wrap

Highland Spring Group, the UK’s leading producer and supplier of natural source waters, have identified a category-leading opportunity to trial 100% recycled materials (rLDPE) in shrink wrap, as part of their commitment to providing healthy hydration in an environmentally sustainable way.

To mark Recycle Week 2020 which runs from 21st– 27th September, the business is underscoring its commitment to increasing the use of recycled materials across all of their packaging, through testing the viability of the 100% rLDPE wrap, with a view, if successful, to introducing this into the market at a later date.

Shrink wrap is normally always manufactured from a type of plastic named LDPE and is recyclable. Currently Highland Spring shrink wrap can be recycled when returned to supermarkets with plastic bags and other secondary packaging. However, there is still work to be done on recycling infrastructure in the UK so shrink wrap can be readily recycled as part of a consistent household kerbside collection, and then re-processed into other materials to ensure the shrink remains in the recycling loop. Therefore, the business is calling for the wider capture of shrink wrap, to harness the benefits of its commercial viability and to increase the availability of recycled materials. 

The environmental benefits of using rLDPE in shrink wrap, can contribute further to the sustainability of the category given natural source waters have the least environmental impact of any other soft drink.*

Research shows that people want to do the right thing when it comes to recycling, and the company approach is about making it as easy as possible for them to responsibly dispose of their used products.

The business also remains focused on introducing more recycled plastic (rPET) into their bottles as the quality and quantity becomes available and are on a journey to ultimately reach 100% rPET across all Highland Spring and retailer branded products.

Simon Oldham, Chief Commercial Officer, Highland Spring Group, said:

“Whilst bottles may be the most visible example of plastic packaging, as a business we are taking a holistic approach to environmental sustainability, with a focus on end-to-end supply chain. We recognise the need from consumers for easy-to-carry multi-pack variants of our products, but we want to ensure they have a low environmental impact. This can be achieved through introducing a recycled plastic wrap.

We believe these trials underline our commitment to innovation in environmental sustainability as part of our journey to increase the use of recycled materials in our packaging. We need local authorities, the public and retailers to support recycling of this material and hope through demonstrating leadership in this area, we can accelerate structural change in the UK market. We look forward to working collaboratively with our customers and suppliers to continue to find ways to create a truly circular plastic economy in the UK.”

Helen Bird, Strategic Engagement Manager, WRAP: “It is welcome news to see another example of plastic packaging being recycled back into plastic packaging and therefore reducing the amount of virgin (new) plastic. Remanufacture is after all, the whole point of recycling. While few local authorities collect plastic bags and wrappers, these types of plastics can now be recycled at many leading supermarkets.” Highland Spring Group are focused on the continued expansion of its eco bottle range which already contains 100% rPET and to increasing the amount of recycled plastic across the rest of their portfolio by 2025.