“Eco-Friendly” Bottled Water? Part Two: Paper (Well, almost)

Part one of this series on “eco-friendly” bottled water introduced you to bioplastics.  We now continue with paper.  Drink up.  And don’t forget to plant a tree when you’re done.

Paper Bottle

Design firm, Brand Image has created the 360 bottle – a disposable water bottle made out of recyclable paper.  With a one-of-a-kind design, this bottle is likely to attract consumers, but is less likely to find its way into a recycling bin after use – making it just as wasteful as recyclable plastic.

h20 :: Natural Spring Water

“Save the planet one drink at a time…” One writer calls this greenwashed nonsense,” and I might have to agree.  h20 is packaged in a carton that is “mostly paper,” but that contains aluminum, plastic, and other materials that make it very difficult to recycle.  Although its rectangular shape makes transporting more efficient and saves energy, this product still contributes to environmental degradation in ways that filtered tap water in a reusable stainless steel bottle simply wouldn’t.

Boxed Water

Similar to the h20 brand, 76 percent of the Boxed Water container is made from a renewable resource – trees.  Again, because the packages can be flattened and shipped to fillers, transporting Boxed Water is much more efficient than transporting plastic or glass bottles.  But is Boxed Water Really Better? The company claims that it will give ten percent of its profits to world water relief foundations, and another ten percent to reforestation efforts.  These practices have yet to be officially implemented since the inception of the Boxed Water brand in 2008 – but according to the website, they “can’t wait to start giving!”  And, is ten percent really enough to recover all of the losses from the deforestation required by the manufacturing of this product?  Nice try, Boxed Water, but at this point, my vote still goes to the reusable stainless steel container – it’s just as convenient, less costly, and less wasteful.