Imagine you’re a established bottled spring water brand, and you conclude that plastic bottles are an environmental issue that you can’t ignore any more. What do you do?
That’s the question the Frank Water company has been asking. It was founded in 2005 as an ethical water brand, with profits going towards water and sanitation projects in developing countries. As part of its social commitments, it has chosen to stop selling single-use plastic bottles – the first British water company to make the move.
Instead, the company will sell water in glass bottles, and it has been targeting the restaurant sector where that is more common. They also provide water coolers for offices and gyms, and most recently, have begun providing water stations at festivals. Festival goers buy a reusable bottle and get free refills for the duration of the event, which helps to reduce the shameful mountains of waste produced by even the greenest festivals.
Despite these new ventures, most water companies make their money by getting disposable plastic bottles into the hands of thirsty consumers, so it will come at a cost. ‘This decision will undoubtedly hit our bottom line this year, and for years to come,” says founder Katie Alcott, “but we are committed to being as ethical and environmentally sustainable as possible while continuing to fund safe, clean water projects in our partner regions.”
To mark their new commitment, Frank Water is inviting people to #pledgetorefill, a sister campaign to the Refill app that I mentioned last week. Whether you’re a long-standing refiller or just beginning to cut down on bottled water, it’s worth clicking over and signing up, as a variety of partners are going to donate £1 for every pledge made.