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Waiakea Water Launches a Degradable Bottle November 13, 2017

Waiakea Hawaiian Volcanic Water was founded in 2012 by Ryan Emmons after he discovered that his family had access to one of the richest sources of pure and naturally healthy volcanic water.

Waiakea water is rich in minerals and electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, magnesium and calcium. It also has the perfect amount of silica in it.

Its packaging is done at a facility which uses 33% renewable energy. The bottles that the company uses, at the moment, are made with high-grade 100% recycled polyethylene terephthalate, which uses 85% less manufacturing energy compared to regular plastic bottles.

The company is scheduled to start using bottles that are fully degradable in the coming year. The bottles will be 100% recyclable and their lifespan will be less 98%, compared to ordinary plastic bottles. Scientists had to approach packaging from a whole new angle, using technology that has the potential of changing the entire CPG industry.

The bottle uses TimePlast, a one of a kind, and patented, additive which aids in the nano-degradation of plastic. It is said to reduce plastic’s lifespan from 1,200 years to approximately 15 years. Waiakea uses packaging made from recycled bottles and will be the first to use the additive on their bottles which, in my view, will go a long way in conserving our environment.

According to Emmons, the reason why this discovery was not made earlier is that most research done on polymers revolves around making plastics stronger and better. Also, the approach taken when it comes to dealing with plastic pollution is the biodegradable approach, which has borne no fruits. To create this new packaging, polymers had to be approached differently. They decided to turn the polymer into a carbon-based wax.

Regular plastic eventually degrades, but the process takes thousands of years. With the TimePlast additive, the plastic’s chemical bonds are replaced with less complicated ones, which results in a weaker plastic which has a shorter ecological footprint.

Creating a bottle that had similar properties as plastic was a big challenge and it took the company five years and 1,200 experiments. A pound of additive can be used on 1,000 pounds of plastic. The cost is extremely low and can easily be taken up by bottled beverage manufacturers.

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