Highland Spring trials UK’s first 100% recycled plastic wrap on multi-buy range

Highland Spring, the UK’s leading natural source water, is launching its most environmentally sustainable multipack to date (12 x 500ml), featuring a new 100% recycled plastic shrink wrap, as the business continues to push forward on it’s journey to using 100% recycled materials across its portfolio. Initially announced in September, the pack is now in production ahead of its first trial at selected Sainsbury’s stores nationwide from January. 

Clearly labelled, to differentiate it from other packs on shelf, the new ‘Eco Pack marks the brand’s biggest packaging transformation since it introduced its range of 100% recycled and recyclable eco bottles in 2019. The trial underlines Highland Spring’s continued commitment to delivering healthy hydration in an environmentally sustainable way. 

Launching in 270 Sainsbury’s stores, Highland Spring believes the initiative is a first for the UK natural source water category. To ensure it continues to meet consumer demand for more sustainable products, Highland Spring will be inviting shoppers to provide feedback either online or in-store. The brand will then assess shopper perceptions of the product and its use of recycled materials – including the reaction to its first 100% recycled plastic wrap on shopper multipacks. 

Simon Oldham, Chief Commercial Officer, Highland Spring Group said: “We want consumers to understand that plastic is a valuable resource that should not be treated as waste. We are taking a holistic approach to our packaging and want to create a truly circular plastics economy in the UK to ensure these materials stay in the loop. 

“That’s why we are delighted to introduce our next generation 100% recycled shrink wrap, which is a significant step forwards in ensuring all our packaging uses recycled materials and is designed in a way that makes it easy for consumers to embrace positive plastic behaviours.

“We are looking forward to collaborating with our retail and packaging partners and applying the learnings from this trial. We look forward to seeing the results and hopefully moving forward to a full roll-out later next year.” 

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.”

Shrink wrap is traditionally manufactured from a type of plastic named LDPE and is fully recyclable. Currently Highland Spring shrink wrap can be recycled when returned to supermarkets with plastic bags and other secondary packaging, as can the new eco shrink-wrap. All Highland Spring bottles are also 100% recyclable collected nationwide by local authorities, or can be returned to wide-spread recycling points. 

There is still work to be done on recycling infrastructure in the UK in order that 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.