When Waiakea Inc. announced they were in development of the first fully degradable plastic water bottle, those who already knew about this water bottling company understood this was just another step in their commitment towards total sustainability. This groundbreaking initiative is just another in many that Waiakea Hawaiian Volcanic Water has delivered on in the few years they have been in operation. Within the next year, Waiakea Water plans on changing the industry by releasing the world’s first fully degradable made from 100 percent recyclable plastic.
Taking the Road Less Traveled
In business since 2012, Waiakea Inc. could have continued to rake in awards for best tasting water and accolades for one of the fastest growing companies in America, but that wasted enough. The core of the company is based on environmental initiatives, and developing the first fully degradable water bottle is just part of a bigger plan to change the way an industry uses the limited natural resources of the planet. The road to making the first fully degradable plastic wasn’t easy. First, Waiakea Water had to team with TimePlast to develop the nano-additive that would break the chemical bond of the plastic down faster, easier said than done. It took 1,200 experiments and five years, but the two companies were able to break the polymer chain that regular plastic bottles have and allow the plastic bottles to degrade at an accelerated pace.
The Need for Better Plastic Bottles
At the rate things are going, if nothing was done about the chemical composition of plastic bottles, landfills around the globe will be pushed beyond capacity because traditional plastic bottles do not begin to degrade for 1,500 years. As the population around the world is set to double in the next few decades, some company needed to bear this burden and prove they were serious about the environmental initiatives they built their company on. The team at Waiakea Water understands that traditional plastic bottling companies already have a large ecological footprint and poor reputation, and a millennium to naturally degrade a plastic bottle didn’t sit well with the company owner. Ryan Emmons, CEO and founder of Waiakea, says the new plastic addictive will be able to turn the lifespan of plastic from 1,500 years to a mere 15 years.
The Continued Focus on Initiatives
Building a better plastic water bottle is not something new for Waiakea Water, they have been at the forefront of this environmental initiative since the day they opened for business. Even before they were able to develop the first fully degradable plastic water bottle, Waiakea Inc. was already using plastic bottles for their Waiakea Hawaiian Volcanic Water that was made from post-recycled bottles and 100 percent RPET. That was not enough for the team at Waiakea Water, the goal was introducing the world to a new plastic that could degrade 97 percent faster than all the other bottles that were being used. Sustainable waste management is finally a reality as the company continues to focus on bettering the planet.
Helping Those Who Need Clean Water
While a part of the Waiakea Water team is focusing on a better plastic water bottle, the core of the company continues its efforts to provide those in need the most basic natural resource. In one alarming statistic, 650 million people each year don’t have access to clean water, that is twice the population of the United States. Even more alarming, over 2 billion people don’t have basic functioning sanitation, so Waiakea Water wanted to make a positive change. Each time a single bottle of the Waiakea Hawaiian Volcanic Water was sold, the company donates a weeks worth of clean water to a community in need around the globe. This became an urgent initiative of the company because every 20 seconds a child is dying from a water-related illness, something that is certainly preventable. Although the focus started with environmental initiatives, it quickly turned to helping people on the most basic of levels too.
The Power of Providing Free Education
It is one thing to make a fully degradable water bottle to preserve natural resources or donate free water to those in need, it is another to help teach those less fortunate how to access and preserve water in their own communities. By partnering with PumpAid, Waiakea Water has been able to accomplish all their goals. The team at Waiakea Water donates employees time and knowledge by sending them to countries that don’t have access to clean water, and give those smaller communities the tools they need to thrive. The teams at Waiakea Water work closely with those small town community members to identify suitable sites to install water pumps. The teams dig the wells, build the pump body, assemble the pump’s mechanism, and then that community provides all the necessary materials while assisting with the overall assembly. The team then teaches those community leaders about preservation and conservation so they can enjoy access to clean water for years to come.
Passing Down New Initiatives for the Industry
Emmons hopes that those in this industry see how effective doing the right thing can be and other plastic bottling companies follow his lead. The new initiative is revolutionary, and it also has a huge commercial advantage on many fronts. The cost to reduce the lifespan of a plastic bottle from 1,500 years to 15 years is actually a cost most of these companies can easily absorb. Being able to alter the chemical composition of one thousand pounds of plastic with a single pound of the new additive means a low-cost application that should change the industry as a whole. Instead of those plastic bottles taking over a thousand years to degrade, they will be degrading now in a little over a decade from now. That will positively impact this and future generations who will be able to access more of the limited resources of the planet.
Waiakea Water understands that not everyone has access to clean drinking water, and their goal is to make sure that they reach as big of an audience and have the longest lasting positive impact on the world as a whole.
Read our previous post on Waiakea water’s degradable bottles here!