The Minneapolis/St. Paul CityPages highlights a cool new product called Boxed Water. Chic, sure, and at Bottled Water Matters we’re okay with boxed water…to a point.
The product inside is still “bottled water.” The difference is the packaging.
So says the article:
The boxes have a smaller carbon footprint than bottles because they’re made mostly from trees from sustainably managed forests, can be shipped flat when empty, and can, in theory, be recycled. (The plastic screw caps on top make them refillable.)
Nice, but plastic water bottles are completely recyclable, too. Both the box and the plastic use natural resources. The article also references a post over at Shefzilla, which recognizes how bottled water compares to other industries in terms of water and natural resources consumption. Notes that blog:
The World Wildlife Fund created a two-minute video recently that explains how a single latte requires 53 gallons (or 848 cups) of water to grow the beans and feed the cows that produce the milk to make the drink. Slightly different numbers according to the Water Footprint Network:
Glass of beer = 19.8 gallons
Glass of wine = 31.7 gallons
Cup of coffee = 37 gallons
Hamburger = 634 gallons
Cotton T-shirt = 713 gallons
Sheet of paper = 2.6 gallons
Obviously no one likes plastic, but it’s cherry picking to argue that bottling water is unethical.
Boxed, bottled: whichever way you pack it, bottled water is a minimal user of natural resources and a convenient, healthy beverage option. And it will continue to be there when you need it.