A new environment-friendly water bottle has recently made an appearance on Publix store shelves throughout Boca Raton.
Distributed by Telluride, Colorado-based BIOTA (Blame It On The Altitude) Brands of America, Inc., BIOTA Colorado Pure Spring Water boasts a clean liquid that originates from the highest natural alpine spring in the world.
The most revolutionary aspect of the brand, though, is its bottle-a container made of corn instead of conventional plastics that utilize oil.
"What that means is our bottle is biodegradable, as opposed to plastic bottles which never do. In fact, a BIOTA bottle will typically biodegrade in 80 days," said David Zutler, founder and chief executive officer of BIOTA. "With this product, people can enjoy great tasting water while preserving the environment."
According to the Container Recycling Institute, bottled water consumption more than doubled in the past few years to result in approximately 40 million water bottles ending up in landfills every day.
Zutler pointed out that BIOTA had worked on developing a better type of water bottle for over 13 years in order to address disposal problems.
The material BIOTA eventually discovered is NatureWorks PLA plastic, a commercially compostable alternative to plastics made from petroleum-based PET. In addition, the process of creating the plastic uses 30 to 50 percent less energy than with PET plastics.
"We're the first beverage company in the world to exclusively use this material," Zutler said.
BIOTA initially distributed the bottle to stores around Colorado, subsequently expanding to California and other nearby states.
Deciding upon a full nationwide push, BIOTA struck a deal with Publix to make the product available within the southeastern region of the United States, beginning with South Florida.
"A total of over 150,000 bottles were shipped to 230 Publix stores from Vero Beach to Key West," Zutler said. "Publix has been very good to us with this rollout."
Anne Hendricks, media and community relations manager for Publix, said BIOTA fits in with the company's other environmentally conscious practices.
"Publix is committed to protecting our environment for future generations," Hendricks said. "That's why we're so excited about the opportunity to offer our customers a planet friendly product."
More bottles are expected to ship to the South Florida area's remaining Publix stores by the end of March. Starting in April, the rollout will expand to Georgia, Tennessee and additional southern states.
According to Zutler, BIOTA will soon offer the NatureWorks PLA material to other bottled water distributors in the near future.
"This is the type of groundbreaking plastic that we completely stand behind, and our fellow companies should as well," Zutler said. "It should be the norm among bottled water manufacturers, and not the exception."