How many times have you been scrolling through your social media feed and come across a post asking a simple question or making a simple statement, and seeing a parade of comments underneath it creating a massive response? And how many times does it seem like it's always the most simple question that creates that reaction, too?
That's exactly what happened recently on the Maine Reddit page over a question about a topic you'd think we Northern New Englanders would be sick of by now due to all the rain this month -- water. Although, it was more about a water company as opposed to water in general.
So, first things first, let's just tackle one issue right off the bat -- if you have a similar view to the "OP" (original poster) of this topic, Reddit user MammothHawk4793, and refuse to drink Poland Spring due to Nestle -- you can end that boycott.
Nestle Sold Off Bottled Water Brands
According to a report at the end of March from CBS Boston, Nestle sold it's bottled water brands (some may call it an empire, some may call it a monopoly) to One Rock Capital Partners, in partnership with Metropoulos & Co. for $4.3 billion. That sale obviously includes the Poland Spring brand, which means if you've been holding out, you can once again chug "what it means to be from Maine." (Remember that jingle ad for Poland Spring?)
Back in February, Bangor Daily News ran an article talking about a lot of opposition from Maine activists about the sale, thinking it would put a lot of Mainers out of work, due to the fact Poland Spring (through Nestle) had developed a pretty large footprint. In 2019, according to BDN, the 9 spring water sources owned helped employ 860 Mainers.
Despite the opposition from activists, though, the Reddit post saw something completely different -- tons of Mainers standing on the same side against Nestle.
The Nestle Controversy
A major reason there's so much animosity toward Nestle, it seems, is due to the fact that even though before the sale of their bottled water brands, they were a source of employment and gave back to the community, they also took from the community when it was most in need.
At the end of this past April, the New York Times ran an article highlighting the fact, using California as a specific example, even in the face of a drought, Nestle was draining natural water supplies to bottle water for sale, which in turn was drying the grounds out even more, making it grounds even more prone to wildfires. A YouTube video dives even deeper into the Nestle controversy as well.
That's pretty much what was echoed by all Mainers on the Reddit post -- sure, we may not be in a drought now since it's rained all July long, but behaviors like that just really turned a lot of locals off. In fact, most Mainers on the post have gone as far as boycotting (as best as possible, considering all of the brands that Nestle actually owns), Nestle as a whole.
Who knew something as simple as bottled water could create such a strong bond between us!