“We are thrilled to grant ZenWTR their Plastic Negative Certification,” said Patrick Baskin, Director of Development at Plastic Credit Exchange, the first global non-profit plastic offset program.
“As the first beverage to receive this accolade, we’re beyond impressed by their constant effort to take positive steps forward.”
Founded in 2020 by Lance Collins, the brain behind beverage brands CORE, NOS, FUZE and Body Armor, the premium water brand is on a mission to disrupt the $20 billion bottled water category and recover 50 million pounds of ocean-bound plastics by 2025.
All eyes on the plastic crisis
Through the partnership with the Plastic Credit Exchange, ZenWTR pledges to make its entire portfolio plastic negative and rescue and recycle at least 200% of its annual plastic footprint by supporting local recycling programs in vulnerable areas most-affected by plastic pollution.
"We are constantly working to push the envelope with disruptive sustainability practices," Collins said following Thursday’s announcement.
“The use of personal protective equipment and other pandemic-related challenges have accelerated the global issue of plastic waste, so it was more important than ever for us to work toward this accomplishment, which helps to support the increase of global recycling efforts.”
ZenWTR’s call to action has already attracted a host of celebrity investors from actresses Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain to musical artist 2 Chainz and surf legend Kelly Slater, providing its #ThirstyForChange mission with a combined social media reach of 500 million followers.
Plastic comes full circle
Each one-liter bottle of ZenWTR is made with up to five bottles recovered from at-risk coastlines and waterways in Indonesia, Thailand and most recently Ecuador. Inside the 100% recycled, certified ocean-bound plastic bottle – the first and only of its kind – is water that has been vapor distilled, ultra-purified, ionized to an alkaline 9.5 pH and enhanced with minerals and electrolytes.
“With ZenWTR, people can finally feel confident and not guilty about enjoying the convenience of prepackaged water in their preferred packaging on the go - as every bottle helps prevent future ocean pollution and offsets the plastic pollution problem,” Eric Berniker, CMO at ZenWTR told FoodNavigator-USA.
Before launch, Collins worked for almost three years to secure a supply chain able to produce food-grade packaging made from rescued plastics while supporting local recycling economies. One such project is the Plastic Credit Exchange’s Aling Tindera waste-to-cash program in the Philippines, which incentivizes female sari-sari market owners to turn their convenience stores into local collection points for recovered plastic that is then sold to local recycling plants.
“We’re proud to be a part of a supply chain that provides consistent and reliable income and financing to tens of thousands of people in our recycling community, from the individual bottle collectors to the processing factory owners,” Berniker said.
On the path to meeting its 2025 targets, ZenWTR has already received multiple sustainability awards including the Business Intelligence group’s 2020 Sustainable Company of the Year Award and 2021 BIG Award for Green Product of the Year as well as the 2020 SEAL Environmental Initiative Award.
This year, the company is on track to launch its national direct store delivery network in Q1 and expand its presence to 50,000 points of distribution, up from 5,000 in early 2021.