One of the strongest arguments many consumers make against bottled water is the massive amount of waste that ends up clogging our waterways when bottles are discarded as litter. To counter this problem, redleaf Water, a Canadian based, premium bottled water company, recently released what they’re calling “the industry’s first biodegradable and recyclable water bottle.”
It’s not a perfect answer. Redleaf Water’s bottle biodegrades in landfills over slightly less than four years in most conditions, according to marketing manager Patrick Hillis. But four years is much better than the predicted hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of years that some researchers claim.
“The bottle can also be recycled regularly,” Hillis explains. “It won’t harm any of the other plastics.”
Hillis’ statement is important, as the primary difficulty with recycling naturally biodegradable water bottles has been the contamination of other plastic recyclables, according to some sources.
To create their biodegradable and recyclable bottles, redleaf’s bottle manufacturer adds organic matter that gives it its biodegradability, according to Hillis. He adds that redleaf, which launched in 2008, wanted to create this product because so many plastics end up in landfills and they don’t break down at all. Around 74 percent of plastic bottles end up somewhere besides the recycling bin, according to statistics he shared with Blue Planet Green Living.
Making the bottle biodegradable is just a start. Currently, the company is conducting tests to make the cap, label, and exterior packaging biodegradable as well.
“Eventually we would like to have a full package that is completely biodegradable,” Hillis says.
The product was introduced in January and is currently available across Canada. In the U.S., redleaf Water is sold at select retailers in the Western states, including more than 100 Albertsons stores. The company plans to expand across the country as demand increases. So far, the product is selling well.
“We’re contacted a lot by the eastern U.S. for the product, from places like yoga studios,” Hillis says.
He adds that the company believes in selling a premium productm but not at a premium price. One liter bottles sell for $1.40 to $1.80, and a 12 pack of half-liter bottles sells for $4.99 to $5.99.
The water that fills these bottles is produced in an environmentally friendly way as well. It’s bottled right at the facility in Chilliwack, British Columbia, eliminating the cost of transporting the water to a bottling facility. It also comes from a renewable artesan aquifer located beneath the facility—a very pure source, according to Hillis.
Hillis is proud of the company’s biodegradable water bottles and describes them as “super popular” so far.
“We believe this will be the tipping point in moving forward for the company,” says Hillis.
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