Is boxed water better?

Is boxed water better?
By Mark Timmons
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Is boxed water better?

It was recently brought to my attention that a company is using milk carton-like packaging to provide an ecologically-friendly alternative to traditional bottled water. The appeal of boxed water is to provide an alternative to traditional bottled water, which has become stigmatized as the poster-child of un-ecological consumption. They call their product "Boxed Water Is Better." Here are a few sound bites from them:

First off, why 'Boxed Water'?

We feel that sustainability and giving back is important. We wanted to start a new water company that has sustainable packaging, gives back to foundations that we feel are important, and has a lower carbon footprint than today's traditional bottled water.

I see that you're part philanthropic project, where does the money go to?

We're still figuring out which foundations we'll be donating to, but we've committed 10% of the profits will be going to water foundations, and another 10% of our profits will be going to forestation foundations. Please stay tuned to our site as we'll be updating where our donations will be landing after we reach profitability.

What type of water is Boxed Water?

We use carbon-filtered, purified drinking water from the municipal source at each of our fillers. Our goal is to have filling facilities as close as possible to each of the major markets we serve. We don't label our product as a "specialty" or "luxury" water - instead we service the convenience market for simple, refreshing, packaged water.

Where does the water come from?

We're incredibly proud to be filled in Holland, Michigan.  We use water from municipal sources which is then put through reverse osmosis and charcoal filtered which adds some flavor back into the water.

OK, I have heard enough!  So, you have some municipal water that is carbon filtered and utilizes reverse osmosis, and is put into a recycled paper (made of wood) box.  I have to take a few exceptions:

  1. "Charcoal filtered does not "add some flavor back to the water".  That was written by a marketing guy who wants to give you some "warm fuzzies" but has no basis in reality.  Charcoal or Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) doesn't add flavor back to the water - it takes it out!  Sorry to be so "picky" but that is simply not accurate.
  2. So their pitch is that they don't clog landfills and the ocean with plastic bottles, which is a good thing, but they do use paper, which comes from trees, even if some of it is re-cycled.  Trees are a renewable resource, but why use any resource, when there is a better way?
The best way way to get clean pure water is not to buy the bottle, but rather buy the system that produces it and then buy the glass bottles to transport it to work, play, the gym... wherever you want to take it. It is reckless and irresponsible (in my humble opinion) to rely on bottled or boxed water, when a much better solution exists.   It is also financially irresponsible to buy bottled or boxed water, for that matter. If you are serious about drinking good water, then if you buy bottled water, you will use it for cooking, drinking and ice.  That means that the average person should use about 900 ounces of water a week.  I you buy water by the case, that will cost you about $21.00 for 200 ounces (Amazon.com on 12/8/14), which translates to over $90.00 a week for drinking water.  If you are 5_stage_w_tankdoing that, I would say you are felony stupid!  That's over $4,600 dollars a year for water, per person.  Ouch! It is especially silly when you consider that you can purchase a home reverse osmosis system for less than $300.  Why mess around with bottled water or boxed water when you can have a much "greener" solution for a fraction of the cost?
I see that you're part philanthropic project, where does the money go to? We're still figuring out which foundations we'll be donating to, but we've committed 10% of the profits will be going to water foundations, and another 10% of our profits will be going to forestation foundations. Please stay tuned to our site as we'll be updating where our donations will be landing after we reach profitability. - See more at: https://boxedwaterisbetter.com/#sthash.EtlkUTQx.dpuf
First off, why 'Boxed Water'? We feel that sustainability and giving back is important. We wanted to start a new water company that has sustainable packaging, gives back to foundations that we feel are important, and has a lower carbon footprint than today's traditional bottled water. - See more at: https://boxedwaterisbetter.com/#sthash.EtlkUTQx.dpuf
The Boxed Water container is far more sustainable than plastic bottled water. About 76% of the box is from a renewable resource, trees. - See more at: https://boxedwaterisbetter.com/#sthash.KgirMQpc.dpuf
The Boxed Water container is far more sustainable than plastic bottled water. About 76% of the box is from a renewable resource, trees. - See more at: https://boxedwaterisbetter.com/#sthash.KgirMQpc.dpuf
The Boxed Water container is far more sustainable than plastic bottled water. About 76% of the box is from a renewable resource, trees. - See more at: https://boxedwaterisbetter.com/#sthash.KgirMQpc.dpuf
December 8, 2013
Comments
Dio
June 2, 2015 at 8:41 PM
You do realize that they support the use of tap water, right? That's not their competition. It's plastic bottles. You can certainly suggest purchasing a $300 unit for the home, but not everyone can afford that. Most plastic bottles end up in landfills. At least they're doing something that's bringing attention to the issue. You don't have to put down other people's work in order to have your own success selling reverse osmosis units. I'm sure your units are just fine, too. Here's an updated opinion on Boxed Water: http://millennialmagazine.com/the-environmental-benefits-of-boxed-water/
Mark Timmons
June 19, 2015 at 11:07 AM
First of all, you can buy a reverse osmosis system for less than $170.00, not $300.00. Secondly, we are not “putting down their work,” just stating the obvious, which is that plastic and paper are wasteful with regards to the packaging (obviously paper is better than plastic) and fossil fuel costs for transportation. Some people may say that they can’t afford $170, but they may wear designer jeans, have smartphones and $200 sneakers. It’s a matter of what your priorities are!