Highland Spring: What the bottled water brand learned from its eco bottle trial

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: rPET, Bottled water

Highland Spring bottled water on what it learned from eco bottle rPET trial
Highland Spring is making a 100% recycled bottle a permanent part of its range, following a trial of the eco bottle in 2018. It says consumers responded ‘extremely well’ to the trial - but what did it learn from the experiment?

The eco bottle is made from 100% recycled material (excluding label and cap) and the label features a burst of green and a ‘100% recycled’ message to help distinguish it on the shelf. Like all other Highland Spring bottles, it is 100% recyclable. 

The Scottish still and sparkling water brand says the eco bottle trial​ in June 2018 showed consumers responded ‘extremely well’ to the 100% recycled plastic bottle. It says there was no negative reaction to the appearance of the recycled plastic, and that consumers displayed a willingness to pay more for recycled material.  

It found that key factors in the purchase of the eco bottle was environmental consciousness, product availability and visibility in-store.

Of the shoppers who bought the eco bottle, 30% cited support for the environment as the main reason for purchase.

Only one in 10 shoppers noticed a difference in the eco bottle as a recycled material. Even when shown the eco bottle alongside a standard Highland Spring bottle, only 35% of shoppers noticed a slight difference in the plastic appearance. This was down to the slight colour difference of the bottle. 

Six in 10 shoppers claim they would be happy to spend more on the eco bottle, with the majority believing a 5p increase would be fair.  Asked what the price of the permanent eco bottle is, Highland Spring said this is at the sole discretion of retailers. 

What’s next? 

The 100% rPET eco bottle has become a permanent addition of the Highland Spring Range in the 500ml size, but there are plans to expand its use. 

We’re currently using the Highland Spring 500ml Eco Bottle in our range. However, further products will be added to the range including a Highland Spring eco bottle kids 330ml,"​ the brand told this publication.  

“It is our ambition to use at least 50% recycled plastic in our bottles by 2022. We hope to go further than this as more and more consumers recycle their plastic bottles and we can source recycled plastic in the quantities and quality we need. 

“We hope to go further than this as more and more consumers recycle their plastic bottles and we can source recycled plastic in the quantities and quality we need. 

We will continue to work together with industry to develop solutions that will keep plastic in the circular economy, by finding ways to reducing littering and encouraging recycling. The use of recycled plastics is one piece of the puzzle, and it takes time to source recycled plastic in the quantities and quality we need.”

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