- Nestlé's bottled water brand Poland Spring launched a social media campaign to help Instagram users with questions about recycling. People can post a photo of a waste item on their Instagram account or via Stories with #NotTrash and @PolandSpringWtr to ask for advice on whether it's recyclable or trash, the company announced in a press release.
- Poland Spring and the Recycling Partnership, a nonprofit environmental group, will respond to Instagram users with an answer during the campaign period, which runs Aug. 12-23. As part of the campaign, the bottled water brand pledged to donate $150,000 to support the Recycling Partnership's environmental efforts.
- Poland Spring also teamed with iHeartMedia's "Elvis Duran and the Morning Show" to donate $1 — up to $25,000 — to the Recycling Partnership each time a radio show listener posts a photo on Instagram with the hashtag.
By urging Instagram users to post recycling questions, Poland Spring and the Recycling Partnership could spur viral sharing that raises awareness for the campaign among the platform's millions of users. The campaign also helps to boost Poland Spring's image as an environmentally conscious brand that seeks to lessen the negative effects of its packaging.
Much of Instagram's user base consists of younger adults and teens who tend to show greater affinity for socially conscious brands, pointing to why Poland Spring chose the Facebook-owned platform for its visual campaign.
Poland Spring's recycling-focused campaign comes as environmental groups seek to raise awareness about pollution from plastic packaging. About 500 billion single-use plastic bottles are produced worldwide every year, while only a fraction gets recycled, per estimates cited by Citigroup. Less than 30% of plastic bottles are recycled in the U.S., and much of the remaining waste ends up elsewhere in the environment. Plastic bottles make up 15% of total marine waste, making them the third-most common item found in ocean debris, according to the Ocean Conservancy.
Brands like Axe, Brita, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Gillette, Nike and Procter & Gamble's Secret deodorant have woven causes in their recent campaigns to win over those consumers. However, cause-driven efforts may not be breaking through with majority of Gen Z consumers. Only 12% of people in the age group have a "top of mind" association between brands they know and a social cause, a study from consulting firm DoSomething Strategic revealed.