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Why this bottled water brand has decided to stop selling bottled water

The war on waste has taken a win this week with one bottled water brand revealing the decision to discontinue production, with the bold announcement declaring bottled water “shouldn’t exist”.

The social enterprise Thankyou has stopped production of its bottled water product, saying that the company could no longer justify the environmental harm caused by selling bottled water.

It’s estimated that a staggering one million plastic bottles are purchased every minute around the world, with the vast majority of plastic produced for single-use bottled water ending up in landfills and waterways.

In a statement released in August, Thankyou outlined the reasoning behind axing its flagship product.

“We're announcing that this is the end, we're out. As of today, production has ceased, and the last bottles of Thankyou Water will be trickling off shelves over the coming months,” the company said on its blog.

“We've said it from the start, bottled water is a 'silly product' and that it shouldn't exist — but while it does, we wanted to provide a better choice in the market that would help bring water to those in need.

“We naively always thought we’d eventually find a solution that's a win-win for humanity and the planet. We were wrong.”

While Thankyou initially settled on bottled water as a product that could raise funds for water projects, the company has since realised there is no "environmentally friendly" way to sell single-use plastic.

“Our team looked far and wide for responsible-ish solutions, from reducing the amount of plastic and waste-water used in production, to challenging the amount of recycled plastic used in the bottle,” the group said.

“We explored alternatives with biodegradable products and carton solutions, but to be honest, all-in-all anywhere we landed felt no better than greenwashing. Every new step sounded better and more palatable, it would tick a 'green box’.

“But, the deeper we looked, and the more we considered the life cycle of the alternatives, we realised it wasn't actually any better for the environment.

“These realisations have left us facing reality. To reduce the impact that single-use bottled water has on the planet, well, we have no other option but to leave it behind.”

Thankyou Managing Director and co-founder Daniel Flynn told The Guardian Australia that he hopes the move away from bottled water “sends a message to other consumers and other brands.”

“[Bottled water] doesn’t make sense in Australia,” he said.

“In a significantly developed nation with perfectly good drinking water from the tap, it’s a rort. We got in on it because we could extract money to help end extreme poverty.”

According to the Department of Water and the Environment, only 14 per cent of plastic consumed by Australians is recovered for recycling or energy recovery.