Sustainable packing line challenges the water cooler market

Aqueduct – The Well Water Ltd, in partnership with DS Smith, have invested in state-of-the-art machinery to create an environmentally friendly and efficient packing line, enabling the production of their new bag-in-box solution. The packaging solution removes the need for plastic returnable bottles, achieving a 60% reduction in truck movement and associated carbon emissions*.

Well Water, who supplies water and first generation water coolers to its customers, purchased a natural mineral water plant in Scotland in 2018. Within a year, the company decided to close the plant’s plastic bottle line in order to move their operations to a more considered long-term solution that aligned with their sustainability ambitions.

In their effort to eliminate plastic from their product, Well Water partnered with DS Smith, who work with customers to remove problem plastics and ensure their packaging fits into the circular economy. Well Water has invested in DS Smith’s OTOR line of packing machinery to ensure that optimum levels of materials are used, and any unnecessary material eliminated.

The solution is provided in 6, 10 and 12.75 litre formats in order to address different customer needs. The 6 litre solution fits in the fridge and encourages users not to drink from small handheld bottles of water, which are known to pollute the UK’s beaches. For example, one of Well Water’s current customers estimates that their switch from single use plastic bottles to Purely Scottish Natural Mineral Water in a Box, coupled with a smart reusable aluminium 500 ml bottle, will remove 680,000 of small plastic bottles per annum from their supply chain.

As well as the environmental benefits, the bag-in-box solution provides several tangible benefits for customers. The bag is taint free, meaning that it does not change the water’s taste, and is also more hygienic than plastic alternatives, with each bag having its own fresh water tap. The boxes are easier to store than plastic bottles, and are also lighter and easier to lift.

Adam Platts, Sales, Marketing and Innovation Director, DS Smith Packaging UK & Ireland, said, “We’re pleased to have partnered with Well Water to create this market leading packaging line and bag-in-box solution. The pack that we have designed together is truly circular and removes problem plastics from circulation. Our circular design metrics, that compare the performance of a packaging design across a range of indicators, demonstrate that the new bag-in-box product has 96% material utilisation – significantly reducing the amount of waste naturally occurred in the production process. 98% of the solution is recyclable and 96% of materials used have come from renewable sources. Our work with Well Water has shown that sustainable packaging is an essential step for brands wanting to enhance their green credentials.”

Kieran McKenna, Founder & President of Aqueduct – The Well Water Ltd, added, “It’s been great to work with DS Smith to create our bag-in-box solution. The packaging achieves our goal of removing plastics from the supply chain and increasing the sustainability of our product, as well as being a health-positive substitution to plastic water coolers, due to the packaging being BPA free.”

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