Although there are many bottled water companies in the U.S, Waiakea Water has carved a niche for itself as an innovative brand. The company is barely 5-years-old, but it is giving well established bottled water companies a run for their money. Waiakea’s innovation can be attributed to its founder, Ryan Emmons. Emmons, 27, is a millennial entrepreneur, and he understands the needs of his generation who have often been famed for being health and socially conscious. Waiakea Water distributes premium water with a slew of health benefits. Nutritionists describe the water as naturally alkaline. Emmons could have stopped there, but he would be unsatisfied if his company did not contribute to sustainable production as well as corporate social responsibility efforts.
One way Waiakea Water is contributing towards sustainable production is through the use of 100 percent RPET bottles which the company will dump next year in favor of degradable bottles. The concept of degradable bottles is relatively new. In fact, Waiakea Water will be the first company to make use of the bottles. Speculations are rife that Waiakea Water could reshape the $2 trillion consumer packaged goods industry (otherwise known as CPG).
Degradable bottles as will be adopted by Waiakea in the coming year are a marked improvement from traditional bottles. According to the company, degradable bottles can survive in the environment up to 15 years while conventional bottles can last up to 100 times as long as degradable bottles. The bottles can be recycled (in fact they improve the degradability of traditional bottles when recycled alongside one another), and as Emmons stresses, any company keen on protecting the environment can afford to use degradable bottles. Emmons equates the cost of achieving degradable bottles to the cost of acquiring aquamarine colorant of plastic bottles.
The concept of degradable bottles sounds promising as it will significantly reduce plastic pollution. However, it took Waiakea Water over five years and over one thousand experiments to achieve the perfect degradable bottle with qualities inherent in traditional commercial plastics. Also, the company had a hard time obtaining a patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).