Many industries in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) category utilize plastic to wrap their products because of the many benefits associated with plastics such as durability and relatively low cost of acquiring plastic packaging. However, one company in the CPG industry—Waiakea Hawaiian Volcanic Water—is out to change how companies package their goods. Since it was founded in 2012, the company has proven to all and sundry that one of its primary goals is to conserve the environment. Recently, the company announced that it would begin packaging its premium, naturally alkaline, and with a slew of health benefits water in fully degradable plastic bottles. Even before it adopts the revolutionary bottles next year, Waiakea is using premium RPET (made from recycled bottles) containers which are more costly than regular bottles.
Although many companies have tried to minimize the menace caused by plastics on the environment by making them biodegradable, none has emerged as successful as Waiakea Water. Waiakea Water uses an additive acquired from Timeplast. The additive seeks to make plastics degradable (not biodegradable) through a nano-degradation mechanism. When incorporated into the manufacturing process of plastics, the additive develops enhanced bottles which can degrade in just 15 years, down from 1,500 years required for traditional plastics to degrade.
Ryan Emmons, the founder and CEO of Waiakea Water, explains that the innovative bottles can change the CPG industry. He stresses that only one pound of the additive is enough to be applied to over 1 thousand pounds of plastic during manufacture. He further says that the cost of the additive is almost similar to the cost of the colorant used to color bottles aquamarine. Furthermore, the innovative bottles can be recycled alongside regular bottles; in fact, recycling them with regular bottles improves the degradation capability of the traditional plastic bottles.
Waiakea Water had to beat the odds associated with innovation. The first problem that the company had was making the innovated bottles have the commercial qualities of regular plastics. Another problem was associated obtaining the first and only patent from the U.S Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). However, Waiakea Water managed to overcome all of its challenges related to degradable plastics.