Sustainable bottled water refers to packaged water that doesn't make use of plastic bottles or irresponsible bottling practices to obtain drinking water, decreasing the carbon footprint of each bottled water. The bottled water industry has long been the subject of environmental concerns due to the wide use of plastic bottles to house drinking water.
Drinking tap water poses the biggest challenge for the bottled water market. However, bottled water provides a convenient and safe drinking option for when there are no potable water sources available. They also provide sugar-free alternatives to sodas and juices on the go, and bottled water may be the only potable option in select areas where water is of poor quality.
Bottled water is not the problem, but the process and the use of plastics are. A handful of brands have taken measures to become environmentally sustainable while producing bottled water - either through using alternatives to plastic bottles, or decreasing their carbon emissions in the processing of their bottled water.
Companies may use aluminum bottles or paper packaging, which are recyclable and biodegradable unlike plastic bottles. Many companies have now switched to using PET plastic bottles and recycled PET plastic water bottles, which emit fewer greenhouse gas emissions than glass bottles.
The packaging material should be recyclable enough to create completely new bottles, not simply reused, to be completely sustainable. For instance, recycled material from plastic bottled water should be made into a new plastic bottle to be deemed sustainable.
Bottled water companies may also employ sustainable practices in harvesting and processing their bottled water. Water-saving methods, such as frequent audits of total water use, greatly contribute to the sustainability of processing plants. Plants may use alternative energy sources like solar-power, or optimize water withdrawal management in their operations.
Transportation also factors in the sustainability efforts of most bottled water companies. Water is a global resource, and local brands that use minimal transportation channels to deliver bottled water to their consumers are more sustainable than brands that are shipped across the world.
Here at My Own Water, we take environmental footprint into consideration when harvesting, producing, and transporting our bottled water. Our consumers have the option to choose between our recyclable PET bottles, or customized and sustainable aluminum bottled water that are completely reusable and recyclable.
We source our natural spring water from environmentally-protected Mt. Palomar, CA, abiding by the regulations of the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) to deliver fresh, and sustainable bottled water to consumers. We aim to reduce plastic pollution, and preserve the natural springs where our water is sourced from to reduce our carbon footprint.
The Poland Spring Water brand, operating under Nestlé Waters North America, aims to use 100% recycled material for their water bottles by 2022 as well as zero-net emissions by 2050 through innovations in their processing technology, packaging materials, energy, and resources. However, transportation emissions are excluded from these goals.
The reusable water bottles of Mountain Valley Spring Water is made from pure glass, which makes the bottled water brand sustainable. The brand also invests in protecting water resources as they harvest water from protected springs, and collaborates with local organizations to preserve natural environments surrounding their processing plants.
Rainwater is a safe and renewable resource in areas where pollution is low. Richards Rainwater is a bottled water company that sources their drinking water from natural rain using a closed loop system to harvest and process the water. This system creates virtually zero waste in treating and bottling water.
The brand also uses glass bottles and aluminum bottles, further expanding their sustainability efforts throughout their brand. The company aims to establish local rainwater collection and bottling plants to reduce carbon emissions due to transportation, and to localize their processing and bottling operations.
Boxed water makes use of paper packaging that is made of 92% plant-based raw materials that are from renewable and sustainable sources. Their sustainability efforts include tree planting programs to offset the carbon emissions brought about by their processing and transportation channels. The brand also collaborates with local organizations for ocean cleanup programs.
However, true sustainability lies in using renewable energy resources and sustainable practices. Boxed Water is currently on the track to sustainability, but will need to address their processing plants to further develop practices that minimize their carbon footprint.
Sustainability is the solution to the pressing problems surrounding the environment. Companies and consumers are becoming increasingly conscious about their environmental impact, which drives companies like us at My Own Water to provide only sustainable options for our consumers.
Consider using a reusable bottle when looking for alternatives to plastic bottles. Aluminum reusable bottles, and even stainless steel bottles provide portability without the weight, which makes them perfect alternatives to plastic bottles. Together, we can decrease our carbon footprints one bottle at a time.
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