Sponsoring Efforts by Partners in Southern California, Washington D.C., Florida
The results of a series of coastal waterway clean-ups sponsored by Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA”) through its regional spring water brands were announced today. The waterways included the Santa Ana River in California, the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C. and the Hillsborough River in Florida. Clean-ups orchestrated by local partners were completed Saturday, September 20 as part of the International Coastal Cleanup.
The International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) is organized by the Ocean Conservancy, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group to help address this problem by removing trash, debris and pollutants from shores and waterways around the world and sharing data to better prepare for future cleanups.
In 2013, the International Coastal Cleanup drew 648,015 volunteers in 92 countries and removed over 12.3 million pounds of trash from various waterways. Bottles and caps are among one of the most common items found during the ICC. NWNA has begun to address this concern in part by supporting clean-up efforts throughout the United States in conjunction with several partners.
“We recognize the problem and are actively addressing it. Our vision is that no beverage bottles are littered, and never end up in rivers and oceans,” said Nestlé Waters North America Vice President of Public Affairs Brian Flaherty. “We are working with these groups to better understand how to make a waterway trash free because the best kind of cleanup is the one that doesn’t have to occur.”
Tampa’s Hillsborough River Cleanup Nets 60,000 Pounds of Trash
As part of the brand’s 50th anniversary, Zephyrhills® Brand Natural Spring Water teamed up with Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful and Tampa Bay Water. More than 4,300 volunteers participated during the September 20 clean-up of the Hillsborough River and Coastal Cleanup. Educational outreach was conducted by Tampa Bay Watch and WaterVentures mobile learning lab. This event was the first of four clean ups and education events that will focus on restoration of the Hillsborough River Watershed. One of the sources for the Zephyrhills brand is situated among the headwaters of the Hillsborough River.
More than 60,000 pounds of trash were removed from 70 sites throughout the county. The area encompasses 650 acres of parks, 150 miles of shoreline and roadways. Volunteers took part in land and water-based cleanup efforts, with some patrolling the shores in kayaks. Hillsborough County is home to over 1,200,000 people and the county is roughly the size of Rhode Island.
“The event was well attended and the volunteers enjoyed what they accomplished. Lots of trash was removed and it was a gorgeous day,” said Debbie Evenson, Executive Director of Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful.
The Hillsborough River & Coastal Cleanup is not your typical litter removal event. As part of this effort, volunteers collect data to identify the number and type of littered items, the overall tonnage removed from each site and the amount of recyclable materials diverted. This information is used to determine future needs, projects in the area and to create an awareness of these needs within the community. As part of the International Coastal Cleanup, data is shared with the Ocean Conservancy, Keep America Beautiful, as well as local officials to help provide a local and global perspective. For more information about the event, click here.
Revitalizing One of the Most Polluted Waterways in the Nation
Washington, D.C.’s Anacostia River is one of the most polluted waterways in the nation. As part of the International Coastal Cleanup, the Anacostia Riverkeeper “Clean Waterways” Volunteer Event drew roughly 180 volunteers on Saturday, September 20. This event is one of several clean up events that Deer Park® Brand Natural Spring Water will be sponsoring throughout 2015. Over 2,000 pounds of trash were removed from ‘hotspots’ located throughout two miles of river and one quarter mile of stream.
Anacostia Riverkeeper Mike Bolinder spoke of the continued need for water stewardship and recycling. “Clean waterways is an opportunity for us to activate volunteers and provide them with meaningful encounters with the river,” said Bolinder. “The cumulative effect of a sustained effort helps to restore the river and reminds watershed residents that part of being a steward of the environment means being a responsible consumer.”
Partnering in Orange County, CA To Restore the Santa Ana River Watershed
In addition to the restoration efforts taking place in the Sunshine State and the nation’s capital, Arrowhead® Brand Mountain Spring Water partnered with Inland Empire Waterkeeper and Orange County Coastkeeper to help restore the Santa Ana River Watershed. For 120 years, Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water has been sourced from natural springs in the region, fostering a tradition of commitment to sustainable watershed management. On Saturday, September 20, 50 volunteers gathered near Lifeguard Tower 2 on Huntington Beach for the International Coastal Cleanup.
Eighty pounds of trash comprised mostly of styrofoam were removed from the beach. The styrofoam and other small lightweight material is what is left of the large debris found upstream, once it makes it to the rocky inlet to the ocean. Just eighty pounds of this litter filled over 50 bags.
This was the fifth clean up event that the Arrowhead brand has sponsored -- earlier cleanups took place at the base of the San Bernardino Mountains in tributaries that channel water into the Santa Ana and yielded a total of over 12,000 pounds of trash and debris. This “crest to coast” approach helps prevent pollutants from flowing down the Santa Ana River into the Pacific Ocean.
Inland Empire Waterkeeper Megan Brousseau was pleased with the results. "This series of clean ups, culminating in the ICC at Huntington Beach, has not only rid our waterways of tons trash and pollutants. It has given us a chance to tell the story of how our urban trash habits directly affect the health of our river and ocean. It has allowed us to educate the community while engaging them in volunteerism." said Brousseau.
Trash Free Seas Alliance Calls For Innovative Strategies To Address Marine Debris
Trash that is littered flows through storm drains into rivers and eventually ends up in oceans. Sunlight combined with waves cause the floating debris to fragment and water currents subsequently direct the plastic shards into “gyres,” enormous rotating whirlpools in which the trash accumulates. The North Pacific Gyre spans an area roughly twice the size of the United States and is one of five major oceanic gyres worldwide.
The Trash Free Seas Alliance, a dynamic partnership of industry, environmentalists, and the scientific community, had a meeting last week to refine plans to stem the steady flow of trash into our oceans.
“Innovative global marine debris strategies are needed to stop marine debris at key source areas where it will have the greatest impact for the ocean, for vulnerable marine animals, and for humanity,” said Andreas Merkl, Chief Executive Officer of Ocean Conservancy, the organization coordinating the efforts of the Trash Free Seas Alliance.
Nestlé Waters North America is a member of the alliance. Members are committed to identifying key scientific research needs and actions that enable more effective approaches to reducing or eliminating the global threat posed by trash entering the world’s oceans. For more information please visit www.oceanconservancy.org.
The problem of marine debris cannot be solved solely through cleanup efforts. In the United States, only 38% of PET plastic bottles are disposed of properly according to NAPCOR, the National Association for PET Container Resources. NWNA strives to bolster recycling rates by collaborating with partners like Recycling Reinvented, a nonprofit organization committed to increasing recycling rates of waste packaging and printed material in the United States. In addition, NWNA has set a goal of achieving 60 percent recycling rate for PET plastic bottles in the U.S. by 2018.
About Nestlé Waters North America Inc.
As the third largest non-alcoholic beverage company by volume in the U.S., Nestlé Waters North America provides people with an unrivaled portfolio of water as healthy hydration. Among them are natural spring water brands such as Poland Spring®, Deer Park® and Arrowhead®. Its national purified water brand is Nestlé® Pure Life®. International brands include Perrier® and S.Pellegrino®. The company’s line of ready-to-drink teas now includes Nestea®, Sweet Leaf® and Tradewinds®. Based in Stamford, Connecticut with 7,500 employees nationwide, Nestlé Waters strives to reduce its environmental footprint, improve recycling rates in North America, and create shared value in those communities where it has operations.