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This is not an ad per-se, however the company has been contacting us to sell their product. Their tag lines include "be an environmentalist without even thinking about it" "all natural bottle"


I agree with your rating of this communication by re:newal spring water. There are different phases in the life cycle of bottled water that contribute to its overall impact. First there is extraction of resources, then production of the bottle and manufacturing, shipping and transportation, consumption and disposal. By making a bottle out of “surplus plants and not petroleum based products†as the website claims, re:newal is mitigating the amount of petroleum that is being used as a raw material. This Ingeo polymer is recyclable, compostable in industrial systems, and can be incinerated. So, as far as the type of natural resource that is being extracted and used as raw material, re:newal gets a point to its favor. There is however, growing concern over the trend of substituting feedstocks for petroleum products. The website states that the bottle is made from surplus plants, but after clicking on the process image, I was taken to a “From Corn to Plastics†page http://renewal-water.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/plants_to_plastics_poster_pdf.pdf explaining the process. Because the plastic is made from the sugars in the kernel of the corn, I believe that using the word “surplus†is misleading. There are ever more demands on these feedstocks, such as biocrude and plastics. The largest claim that I find issue with on the website, however, is in bold print outlined by a green boarder with leaves. “For the next 16.9 ounces, you can be an environmentalist without even thinking about it.†While the plant-based bottle can be argued as a better alternative to petroleum, this Florida-based company still uses plenty of petroleum to ship its product to market. A life cycle analysis by the Oregon DEQ http://www.deq.state.or.us/lq/pubs/docs/sw/LifeCycleAssessmentDrinkingWaterReportOnly.pdf shows that the best form of drinking water across all standards including energy consumption, emissions and solid waste is tap water with a reusable glass (or other type of sturdy and reusable metal or plastic bottle). The composition of the bottle is only a small element in determining this ranking. Larger factors include the likelihood of plastics being recycled (even though they are fully recyclable), the energy that it requires to manufacture the single-use bottles (re:newal claims that its bottles require 50% less non-renewable energy than PET bottles, but that is still 100% more than for tap water with a reusable container) and most of all, the emissions resulting from the water’s transportation. The system of underground pipes is very efficient, while diesel trucks across the state or the country (or even worse for some companies: airlines across oceans) amount to the largest consumption of energy and corresponding emissions. So, if you really want to be an environmentalist without having to think about it, just open the tap!