Michigan-based entrepreneur, Benjamin Gott, was drinking water from a plastic bottle one day when it suddenly occurred to him that there had to be a ‘better way’ to package water. As a result of this thought, the company ‘Boxed Water is Better’ was born back in 2009 - an eco-business founded by Benjamin to offer a more sustainable alternative to bottled water.
“The idea was to create a bottled water brand that was better for the environment,” says Benjamin. “We realised very early on that the classic, Pure-Pak® gable top carton gave us both the sustainability and the design concept we were looking for.”
The company promotes sustainability - producing water with a lower carbon footprint than bottled water by packaging H2O in 500ml Pure-Pak® Diamond cartons. The concept is derived from environmental issues caused by the amount of plastic bottles entering landfills, concerns over oil and water resources used to produce plastic bottles, and not least the pollution from transporting bottles.
“Our cartons are shipped flat to the company’s filling facilities, thereby giving a lower carbon footprint,” adds Chris Radford, Director of Operations at Boxed Water is Better. Central to the company’s concept is that its cartons come from certified or well-managed forests and are 100% recyclable and so have a minimal long term impact on the environment.
Better Portable Hydration
Indeed, the carton is at the very heart of the company. “We are about the package not just the beverage,” says Chris. “This is purified water. What we are about is a better form of portable hydration.”
Water is sourced from municipalities close to the company’s filling stations. It is filtered and filled into the cartons. “Packaged water is a different business to that in Europe,” explains Elopak’s Jose Ortiz. “In the US, water is used for hydration on-the-go and therefore it is convenience that is a bestselling factor in this market. Here is a company with a vision of a better way to take water with you and to bring this to as many people as possible.”
Design that stands the test of time
Elopak has worked closely with Benjamin and his team from the start. “We love the classic design of the Elopak carton,” says Benjamin. “Classic design always stands the test of time. That’s why we have kept it simple. Our black and white word-only carton design is plain and honest, and we are really excited that people ‘get it’.”
The response to the cartons has ‘overwhelmed’ the Boxed Water is Better team. Within the first couple of months, national media attention, including a stint on the Today Show, proved the resilience of the idea and its potential. “We are constantly overwhelmed with the interaction from consumers through Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. We get daily photos of the carton’s creative situations that amaze us and motivate us to evolve.”
This is not just a sustainability project - Benjamin wanted to start a company that gave back. This philanthropy includes 10% of profits donated to water relief foundations with another 10% donated to reforestation. And this part of the company is set to evolve alongside its plans to work with Elopak to develop more cartons with more sustainability.
Sustainability goes beyond the carton. Boxed Water is Better has incorporated wall board and ceiling tiles made from re-purposed cartons manufactured by The ReWall Company. This Iowa-based, eco-friendly, building materials business allowed Boxed Water is Better to build a filling room out of carton waste, emphasizing their commitment to sustainability.
Boxed-in for the future
Boxed Water is Better is currently distributed across the US via the company’s filling stations, with more satellite stations every 200 miles planned to further reduce transport pollution. The concept has gone international with initial tests underway in Australia and the process of setting up filling stations and distribution in Canada and Mexico.
Plans are afoot to develop the overall availability of Boxed Water is Better with new sizes of the Pure-Pak® Diamond carton in the pipeline - including a 1 litre carton and a smaller, mini-carton size for schools.
“The unique concept of Boxed Water is Better creates a natural synergy with the Pure-Pak® Diamond carton – because the brand promotes the package itself. This will only intensify as Boxed Water is Better grows and Elopak is delighted to be involved and support the development of this truly entrepreneurial company,” adds Jose Ortiz.
“Working with Elopak has been fantastic and their communication has been superb,” adds Founder Benjamin Gott. “Elopak got the concept from the start and really understand the journey we have been on and our transition. We will evolve together with Elopak and we will stay true to the simplicity of the classic gable top carton.