Canned water start-up Koz aims to rid world of plastic

American beverage start-up Koz Water has launched a brand of canned water with the sole goal of ridding the countryside and oceans of plastic.

Portland, Oregon-based Koz Water was introduced with the rallying cry “demand change, demand a cleaner Earth, demand canned”. In a promotional video, founder Marcelle Abel said the company will only sell its water in cans because they can be endlessly recycled.

“This is how we put plastic behind us,” Abel declared in the video.

Koz Water is run through a 12-stage filtration and purification process that includes charcoal filtration and ultra-violet light treatment before being canned. It is available only in the the Portland area and sells for about US$1.10 per can.   

“The Koz Water mission is to eliminate plastic water bottles from the earth,” the company announced on its website. “Cans are up to 90 per cent more likely to be recycled versus plastic, so we decided to challenge the status quo and change the industry. For years, companies have made cost-based decisions that led them to the cheapest option for bottling, but it’s time to make decisions based on our future.”

Canmakers are increasingly moving into the rapidly expanding ready-to-drink water market as demand for healthier alternatives to sodas grows. In the US alone bottled water volume has exceeded that of carbonated soft drinks for about five years. In 2017, US consumption was 13.7 billion US gallons (51.8bn litres), 7 per cent up on the year earlier.

Koz Water faces stiff competition; PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are among soft-drinks giants that have also entered the market. However, it is the only brand that claims to have been launched with the sole intention of providing a more sustainable packaging alternative to plastic.

“We would prefer to eliminate all single use beverage containers worldwide but acknowledge that there are situations where people simply do not have access to clean water sources or they prefer the convenience of single use packaging,” the company stated. “Rather than introduce more virgin packaging materials into the environment, we wanted to provide a more sustainable solution.”