Victoria-based social enterprise business Thank You has quit the bottled water business and denounced it as, among other things, a “silly product that shouldn’t exist”.
The company, whose ethos is to ‘empower humanity to choose a world without poverty’ has been in the single-use bottled water business for 12 years and its product has been stocked at the likes of Woolworths and 7-Eleven.
According to a blog post on the Thank You website, production ceased as of Wednesday and the final bottles will now be trickling through to consumers over the coming months before disappearing from the shelves completely.
Felt no better than greenwashing
In its post, the company said it had been hoping since it started selling bottled water to find more responsible ways to reduce the amount of plastic and waste water used in the process.
But this had been unsuccessful and whatever new ways it tried to achieve this aim “felt no better than greenwashing”, it stated.
“The deeper we looked and the more we considered the life cycle of the alternatives, we realised it wasn’t actually any better for the environment.
“These realisations have left us facing reality. To reduce the impact that single-use bottled water has on the planet, well, we have no other option but to leave it behind.”
Decision will cost company millions
The blog continued: “We naively always thought we’d eventually find a solution that’s a win-win for humanity and the planet. We were wrong.”
Thank You said it would lose millions of dollars as a result of the decision, but would continue selling its ethical personal care and baby product ranges, and hoped to find a new water-product solution sometime in the future that would serve both humanity and the planet.
It is now discouraging consumers from buying single-use bottled water, saying there are millions of ‘water points’ here in Australia.
“We know that for most of you, if you stood up right now and took a few steps to your bathroom, kitchen, or even walked to a cafe nearby, you’d find water. All you need is your favourite reusable cup or drink bottle and you’re good to go.”