Boxed Water Is Better for You and for the Planet

By Jane Whitttington on May 1st, 2015 / Comments

Ben Gott is an idea guy by nature and a design guy by profession. He recognized that bottled water was a fast-growing market, but that water bottles themselves were a problem. The Water Project, a non-profit working to provide potable water to sub-Saharan Africa, reports the following:

  • Plastic water bottles take over 1,000 years to biodegrade. When they are burned, they create toxic fumes.
  • Only one out of five bottles is sent to recycling.
  • There are over two million tons of discarded bottles in U.S. landfills.
  • One and a half million barrels of oil are used to meet the demand of U.S. water bottle manufacturers each year.

Gott felt that while there was a market for bottled water, he could do better at providing an efficient, effective method of delivering water to the public. In 2009, Boxed Water is Better was born.

Jeremy Adams, Vice President of Marketing, says, “The focus of Boxed Water is Better is reducing the effects of bottled water on the environment. Our founder, Ben Gott, saw the opportunity to begin to turn that around by using renewable packaging. Using treated paper boxes rather than plastic bottles, he saw a way to reduce the environmental damage being done by the bottled water industry. Now, while this is not a perfect solution, at least it is a step in the right direction. And we feel that even small steps are important.”

He continues, “The boxes we use for our water are 70 percent paper made from wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, 20 percent high-density polyethylene for the waterproof liner and cap and ten percent aluminum foil to create a thin foil barrier for freshness. The aluminum foil does not come in contact with the water.”

The boxes are filled in Holland, MI. The water is triple filtered for purity using reverse osmosis, carbon filtration and ultraviolet water filtration systems. The entire carton is 100 percent recyclable and 100 percent BPA free. The Mayo Clinic reports: “Some research has shown that BPA can seep into food or beverages from containers that are made with BPA. Exposure to BPA is a concern because of possible health effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children.”

However, Boxed Water goes beyond their packaging and the water that packaging contains. They commit at least one percent of total sales annually to reforestation and world water relief. They also advocate for community, industry and policy change as a leader in the movement for universal curbside box recycling.

Taking inspiration from three principles: sustainability, efficiency and philanthropy, Boxed Water has recently partnered with National Forest Foundation to plant one million trees by 2020. Starting in April, the company will plant two trees for each Boxed Water fan photo posted to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #ReTree. This project gives consumers the opportunity to make a difference by seeing to it that trees are planted in America’s national forests.

With administrative offices in Grand Rapids and Los Angeles and a packaging facility in Holland, Boxed Water currently employs 25. Plans are in the works to open a second plant later this year, but the location, for now, has not been announced.

Adams reports that Boxed Water can be purchased online via their website or at Amazon as well as venues throughout Kent and Ottawa Counties. In addition, Boxed Water is now available at 450 Target stores throughout the country, Safeway super markets and many Whole Foods stores.

For more information about this innovative new product, visit their website at


About the Author

Jane Whitttington

Jane Whitttington

Jane Whitttington is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Grand Rapids. A Michigan native and Michigan State University grad, she enjoys reading, travel, politics and volunteering.