An Irish bottled water company is on course to dramatically reduce plastic pollution through the use of tethered caps.
Limerick-based ISHKA Irish Spring Water has successfully trialed the caps across its spring water range – three years before EU rules making it compulsory for plastic bottle tops to remain connected to bottles.
Plastic bottle tops account for 10% of plastic litter found on European beaches and the EU’s Single-Use Plastic Directive includes a provision to ensure they are recycled together with the rest of the bottle.
ISHKA Irish Spring Water is preparing its production lines for the introduction of tethered caps three years ahead of the deadline, becoming the first bottled water company in Ireland to do so.
A full market launch will follow later this year, when all ISHKA 500ml spring water bottles will have their caps attached to the bottle.
“ISHKA is determined to do all we can as a business to drive the necessary change in consumer behaviour to help solve our global waste problem and protect marine life,” said Denis Sutton, Director of ISHKA Irish Spring Water.
“Due to their current design and size, caps are much more likely to be littered – and while this may seem like a small problem, they are one of the top five most commonly found items of litter on beaches worldwide.
“A simple design change that keeps caps attached to bottles means they are much more likely to be recycled with the bottle, hence our early move to launch tethered caps well ahead of the EU Directive deadline.”
Recent research from ISHKA Irish Spring Water, through iReach, shows many consumers are embracing the green message, with half of all respondents saying the type of water they buy is influenced by whether bottles can be recycled after use.
A separate study by PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that around 1,350 bottling lines EU-wide will need to be prepared to handle tethered caps.
“As a company we’re continually committed to product innovation and differentiation with sustainability at the core,” said Mark Taylor, Head of Operations. Over the summer we invested heavily in tooling up our machines and adapting our production lines to make it easier for our customers to recycle every piece of our bottles.”
Based in Ballyneety in Limerick, ISHKA Irish Spring Water lays claim to being Ireland’s freshest spring water as it is bottled straight from five certified wells, untouched by human contact and not stored prior to bottling.