Boxed Water?

Okay – so there’s this new company, Boxed Water Is Better LLC, and their product is…Boxed Water. Coming in a pleasantly designed milk-carton-style container, it sounds nice enough on the surface: Flat packed empty packaging is easier to transport, made of 90% renewable and recyclable materials, and the whole operation is focused on sustainability. I could see how it would be perceived as a better choice than plastic bottles…

But they’re still selling packaged water.

Once the containers are filled they still have to be transported, and with every 1,000 gallons weighing over 4 tons (when you include the weight of packaging) that’s a lot of fuel to burn. And recyclable or not, all those containers must be manufactured. The only major advantage I see here, in fact, is that Boxed Water may break down more easily in a landfill when non-recycling types just toss them in the trash – except they’re probably coated in wax since they have to hold liquid, so scratch that idea.

I’m not an advocate for bottling companies but I think there are advantages to bottles over boxes, the first of which is strength. I can’t see a paper-based container holding up to the rigors of a mostly-filled backpack, for example. Based on the pictures of Boxed Water, I also don’t see a cap (which makes sense if they cartons start out flat-packed) which means once it’s open, it’s open until it’s done. Make sure you keep it upright!

Look, just buy a few good reusable bottles, and a filter pitcher or something. Boxed Water sounds like mild greenwashing to me.

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