Home Kitchen & Laundry It’s Time to Stop Giving, Selling Plastic Water Bottles to Your Guests

It’s Time to Stop Giving, Selling Plastic Water Bottles to Your Guests

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Glenn Hasek

They may not be the perfect solution to water container pollution but paper-based products—whether in cartons or bottles—are so much better than their plastic alternatives. This past week I posted an article about four companies that now offer water in cartons or bottles that are primarily made from paper—a renewable resource. If you are currently still giving your guests or staff plastic water bottles, I challenge you to sample the water containers featured in my article.

Something has got to be done to stop the proliferation of plastic bottles. Sixty-nine billion bottles are created each year and 38 billion of them go into oceans and landfills. Up to 90 percent of the 69 billion are not recycled. A plastic bottle in the ocean will take 700 years to decompose. Plastic bottle recycling took a hit in early 2018 when China announced it would stop taking most of America’s recyclables. Oftentimes, plastic bottles are burned in carbon-releasing, waste-to-energy plants.

Many properties featured in the Green Lodging Trends Report 2018 or on Green Lodging News have eliminated plastic water bottles entirely. Instead, water is served in reusable glass bottles. I have written about on-site water filtration systems that make glass bottle service easy. One of the companies in our Green Product & Service Directory—Vapur—makes a collapsible, reusable BPA-FREE and freezable “anti-bottle” that can also replace plastic water bottles. Such reusable bottles are also a great solution. Each eco-friendlier alternative to plastic has its place.

How to cater to an industry that wants to offer guests inexpensive, portable water on a mass scale remains the challenge and paper-based packaging is one solution. You may not have a choice to make a change soon. As one supplier said, “[Plastic water bottles] are becoming one of the top complaints in hotels.”

Unique Approaches to Container Content, Design

Each of the companies mentioned in my article approaches their containers differently. Boxed Water Is Better® is packaged in a 100 percent recyclable paper carton that includes 75 percent renewable raw materials. Similarly, Waterbox LLC also produces water in a 100 percent recyclable paper carton. The 100 percent recyclable JUST water bottle is 54 percent made from paper and 28 percent from plant-based plastic. The plastic in the shoulder and cap of the JUST water bottle is made mostly from sugarcane. Flow Water Inc.’s “packs” are mostly made from paper and designed to have a low carbon footprint. The packs are 100 percent recyclable and include 68 percent renewable materials. The cap is plant based.

Each company sources its water from different places. I suggest asking for samples and doing your own taste test. You may pay a little more or about the same for water in a paper carton or bottle. Most communities in the United States have access to machinery to break up the containers for recycling. Be sure to ask about customization capability. If you can create a water brand for your own company or property, why not do it? One supplier told me guests staying with his hotel customers are applauding them for picking up his carton product.

The culture of the company selling the sustainably packaged water should also be considered. For example, Boxed Water Is Better has planted 790,000 trees in partnership with the National Forest Foundation in areas affected by deforestation and wildfires. The company’s goal is to hit 1 million trees this year. In June it will launch a plastic pledge month and ask water drinkers everywhere to give up plastic bottles for a month and hopefully for good. JUST converted an old church into its headquarters, Flow Water Inc. is a Certified B Corporation, and Waterbox LLC packages its water in a zero-emissions facility.

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Green Suppliers Spotlight is published weekly on Thursdays to general managers, owners, management companies, directors of sustainability, directors of engineering, facilities managers and many others who are either in purchasing positions or who influence purchasing decisions. Suppliers of green products and services throughout North America and beyond are invited to participate in the e-blast. (Minimum two suppliers per e-blast.) Green Suppliers Spotlight was created to give vendors an opportunity to reach a high number of industry purchasers at a very low cost—as low as $200 per e-mail. (Click here for rate sheet.)

Those advertising in Green Suppliers Spotlight can include up to 100 words, one image, contact information and multiple links to their website in their ad. At the end of each month, a report will be sent to each supplier with information on delivered e-mails, opens and click-throughs. The Green Suppliers Spotlight e-blast will also be available in the Suppliers Spotlight Archive section of the Green Lodging News website.

Planning Advertising for 2019?

Green Lodging News is accepting reservations for advertising spots for 2019. Many excellent spots are available on our new website and in the weekly e-mail newsletter. Many Green Supplier Spotlight dates are also available. Interested in receiving a 2019 media kit? Be sure to contact me as soon as possible at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com. A media kit can also be accessed by clicking here. Thank you to all those companies that consistently support Green Lodging News.

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