It drives me crazy when I see people toss their water bottles in the trash rather than recycling bins. But what's even more maddening is companies with alternative packaging trying to claim they're more sustainable than PET.
The latest culprit is an announcement from organizers of the New York Marathon and water supplier Flow Beverage Corp. that the Toronto-based water company will be the official water supplier to the marathon and other New York Road Runner events.
The announcement came with wording from Flow claiming that their paper and foil Tetra Pak cartons are "a more sustainable alternative to single-use plastic."
Of course the mixture of materials in those containers — Flow's website details a paper and aluminum combination — are far less likely to be recycled than PET.
But at least there are groups out there taking aim at the sustainability claims of boxed water.
The Center for Accountability in Science recently posted about another Tetra Pak bottled water brand, "Boxed Water," referring to claims that boxes are "better," referring to its message in part as "greenwashing," a term often used against plastics suppliers. There are far more opportunities to recycle PET bottles, the group noted.
"Plastic can continue to innovate but paper will never be waterproof unless new chemicals are added. And without waterproof paper, cartons will always require layers of other materials to make them work," the group wrote.
(The center's weekly series on "environmental myths" has also taken aim at bag bans, marine debris and even plastic straws, noting that a metal replacement has a far bigger carbon footprint.)