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Aluminium vs Plant-Based Packaging: Is Canned Water Actually Good for the Environment?

The rise of canned water as an alternative to traditional bottled water has sparked a conversation about its environmental impact. While brands like Waterbox Australia offer innovative solutions like plant-based boxed water, the question remains: is canned water actually good for the environment?

Reduced Plastic Usage

The most apparent advantage of canned water, as well as options like boxed spring water, is the reduction of plastic waste. Traditional plastic water bottles contribute significantly to global plastic pollution. Canned water, with its metal packaging, offers an alternative that can be more easily and effectively recycled than plastic. However, boxed water offers the same advantages to a greater extent and without the negative drawbacks.

Higher Recyclability

Aluminium cans, commonly used for canned water, boast a higher recycling rate compared to plastic. Aluminium can be recycled indefinitely without losing quality or purity. This means that the aluminium in canned water has the potential to be reused in a continuous loop, reducing the need for new raw materials and the environmental impact associated with their extraction and processing. Again, plant-based boxed water offers the same benefits. So why do we still consider canned water as a viable option?

Energy Consumption in Recycling

While aluminium is highly recyclable, it's important to consider the energy required to recycle it. The process of recycling aluminium is energy-intensive, although it still uses less energy than producing new aluminium. When considering the environmental impact of canned water, one must weigh this energy use against the benefits of reduced plastic pollution and high recyclability. This is where plant-based alternatives really start to shine. They offer all the benefits without the drawbacks.

Transportation and Carbon Footprint

The weight and density of canned water can impact its carbon footprint during transportation. Cans are typically heavier than plastic bottles, which can lead to increased fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions during shipping. However, if the water is sourced locally, like natural spring water near me options, this impact can be mitigated.

Source and Sustainability of Water

The environmental impact of canned water is not just about the packaging; it's also about the source of the water. Sustainable sourcing, like that practiced by Waterbox with its boxed spring water, is crucial. Responsible water brands ensure that their water extraction does not harm local ecosystems or deplete natural water sources.

Consumer Behaviour

The environmental benefit of canned water also depends on consumer behaviour. If consumers recycle their cans effectively, the environmental benefits are maximised. However, if cans end up in landfills, their potential advantage over plastic bottles diminishes. With plant-based packaging, if consumers are irresponsible with their recycling habits, the packaging will break down quickly under the right conditions. Microorganisms feed on the decaying material which benefits the local ecosystem in a relatively short amount of time.

In conclusion, while canned water presents certain environmental benefits, especially in terms of reduced plastic waste and high recyclability, its overall impact is nuanced. Factors such as the energy required for recycling aluminium, the transportation carbon footprint, and the sustainability of water sourcing all play a role, leaving it as an option that could cause damage to the environment. The choice between different types of packaging, whether it be canned water or plant-based boxed water, needs to be made with these thoughts in mind.

At Waterbox Australia, we are leading the way in offering environmentally friendly and sustainable hydration. Click here if you’d like to learn more!

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