The disposable water bottle market is of the most environmentally damaging industries in the world. Every year in the United States alone more than 50 billion plastic water bottles are purchased, consumed, and discarded, a number that works out to more than 150 water bottles a second.
This massive amount of discarded plastic has an extremely toxic effect on the natural balance of the ecosystem. Although most of the plastic water bottles that are sold on the market today are composed of “degradable” PET plastic, this doesn’t actually mean that they’re good for the environment. In reality, these bottles don’t biodegrade, they photodegrade- meaning UV radiation breaks them up into progressively smaller particles.
These particles enter the water cycle through landfill runoff and eventually pollute the ocean- recent oceanic pollution surveys have revealed that more than 46,000 individual pieces of plastic float in every single square mile of ocean, severely damaging the ecosystem.
These plastics are consumed by fish, which ultimately end up on out plates- so not only is plastic water bottle consumption in poisoning the environment, it’s also poisoning our bodies.
Fortunately, more and more people are becoming aware of the significant negative impact of disposable plastic water bottle consumption and changing their habits accordingly, instead using refillable non-BPA recyclable bottles that can be used, washed, and used again.
Although reusable water bottles are an extremely effective method of protecting the environment, they have one major flaw- in many cities it can be extremely difficult to find a location that provides free, filtered, and healthy drinking water with which to refill a reusable bottle.
A new crowdfunding campaign that is currently being launched on popular crowdfunding site indiegogo, however, aims to make chilled, clean, and filtered water for refilling disposable bottles available throughout the world through an innovative high-tech solution.
The Reefill crowdfunding campaign is more than halfway toward their goal with more than a month left, and is set to revolutionize the practice of refilling water bottles.
In this article, we’ll check out the Reefill solution and find out what it is and how it works to help you decide whether it’s a crowdfunding campaign worth backing.
Reefill is the brainchild of three environmentally-aware entrepreneurs- Jason Pessel, Andrew Betlyon, and Patrick Connorton. The original idea for the Reefill came about during the Think Beyond Plastic idea accelerator in 2015, but over the intervening years the concept has grown, with the trio securing grants from NYU and several startup incubation competitions to launch a series of pilot refill stations throughout New York City.
The Reefill indiegogo campaign is aiming to gather $30,000 USD in order to create a network of 100 pilot stations throughout the city, providing thirsty consumers with the ability to top up their reusable drinking bottles with clean, fresh, chilled water.
The Reefill solution is elegant and simple, but, unfortunately, isn’t free. The way Reefill works is simple- Reefill plan to install a number of Reefill stations throughout NYC, which can be accessed via a dedicated mobile app that is provided to subscribers.
Users of the app are able to pull up a map of the Reefill locations nearest to them, as well as track how many individual plastic water bottles they have saved to see a visual representation of the positive impact they’re having on the environment.
The water provided by the Reefill is sanitized with UV treatment methods, destroying any pathogens or bacteria, and is chilled and filtered to create a refreshing drinking experience. When refilling their bottles at a Reefill station, Reefill users activate the refill fountain with their smartphone, and simply fill their bottle.
Cynical observers may point out that the Reefill platform is essentially just charging consumers for something that can be found at the average office water cooler absolutely free, but the Reefill platform is making serious waves in NYC, where the average plastic disposable water bottle costs $2, and fresh, free, and clean tap water is virtually unavailable.
The Reefill service is priced at just $1.99 USD monthly, which is far cheaper than what the average NYC consumer spends on bottled water, and has a significant positive effect on the environment.
Reefill are already operating a small-scale network in NYC, with eight stations currently up and running. The system is already turning heads, with news platforms such as TechCrunch, TechWeek, and Techday running features on the innovative and eco-friendly solution.
After reaching their initial goal, Reefill plans to begin rolling out a new refill station every two days, and eventually hopes to complete the grandiose goal of making bottles water incomplete, while charging thirsty consumers $2 monthly for the privilege of drinking along the way.
The Reefill platform is an innovative and unique solution to the environmental problem of disposable plastic water bottles, and is relatively inexpensive when compared to frequently purchasing disposable bottled water.
The lowest backing amount currently on offer via the Reefill indiegogo page is a $19 funding commitment that offers a one-year membership for $19 USD. If you’re interested in supporting an environmentally friendly water bottle refilling platform in NYC, the Reefill campaign is worth backing.