How do you improve upon what is already one of the top volcanic bottled water brands? The answer isn’t to change the water, but rather to change the bottle. By inventing the world’s first fully degradable plastic water bottle, Waiakea has improved an already award-winning water.
According to CEO Ryan Emmonds, Waiakea took a different approach to the creation of this more eco-friendly bottle: rather than focusing on making bottles thinner yet stronger, they made a polymer that has weaker molecular bonds and an accelerated chemical degradation. The result of this innovation is the TimePlast additive, which takes a bottle already made from 100% recycled bottles (RPET) and can degrade it into a carbon-based wax in 15 years rather than the typical 1,500-year lifespan of a conventional plastic water bottle.
Its Greatest Strength is its Weakness
In an interview with Beverage Daily, Emmons discussed the trends in polymer research of creating stronger yet thinner plastics which still sit in landfills or of trying to use bio-plastics to make a degradable bottle to no avail. Waiakea’s thought process: instead of making the bottle stronger, we’ll make it weaker. Through the creation of the TimePlast additive, they created a polymer with all the strength of a conventional bottle, but with weaker molecular bonds and a chemical degradation accelerant which reduces the lifespan of the bottle by 98%. Using the TimePlast additive costs about the same as the additive used to color the bottles.
Healthy, Sustainable, and Ethical
Knowing that water is one of the world’s most precious resources, Waiakea sources their water from the Kea’au aquifer, which has a 1.4 Billion gal/day recharge. They also donate 650L of water through Pump Aid for each 1L of bottled water sold.
Naturally alkaline and enriched with electrolytes and minerals, the water tastes as unique as the company who bottles it. Thanks to passing through thousands of feet of volcanic rock, the water picks up minerals which are good for the skin, bones, and hair.
Waiakea is available in the U.S. at Whole Foods and other fine retailers.