Bottled water companies have been struggling with a backlash against their products because of energy and health concerns, but they’re not going away. At least the innovation these days seems to be focused on improving the impact bottled water has on the environment rather than merely in its marketing claims. PepsiCo’s Aquafina brand announced the launch yesterday of the Eco-Fina bottle, made with 50% less plastic than normal Aquafina bottles. The new bottle, scheduled to begin shipping in April, will save an estimated 75 million pounds of plastic each year. Aquafina also plans on removing cardboard base pads from 24-packs–a move that will save 20 million pounds of corrugated cardboard each year.
Startups are getting in on the act as well. A company called Boxed Water is Better is producing, as the name implies, boxed water. BWAB ships unfilled recylable containers to the water source in an attempt to keep pollution level low, and it donates 20% of all profits to world water relief and tree reforestation organizations.
Just today, Plant It Water debuted packaging made from over 60% renewable materials. The company also says it will plant a tree for every carton of water sold. (That’s maybe not as fun as planting a tree for every vodka bottle sold, but it is easier–and healthier–to make a positive impact with heavy consumption.)
Of course, for the residents of most U.S. cities, drinking clean tap water is still the way to go. But if you have to drink bottled water, better to support the brands making an effort to be more sustainable. Some change is better than no change at all.