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Water for the lunchbox that’s environmentally friendly

RETHINKWATERHIGHQUALITYA new Ellicott City beverage company has reimagined bottled water, but without the BPA and environmental concerns. And it’s perfect for school lunches.

RETHINK Water launched its product a few months ago with the goal of providing an environmentally responsible, portable water option that is not in a plastic bottle.

RETHINK Water is packaged in an environmentally sustainable carton, known as a Tetra Pack, which is made from 70 percent paperboard and is 100 percent recyclable. The water is filtered through reverse osmosis in a seven-step filtration process that removes any impurities and minerals, resulting in a clean, pure water with no aftertaste. The carton is also easy to drink out of and fits in most cup holders.

“RETHINK is a great option for families,” says Kendall Bair, communications manager for RETHINK Water. “We know that moms are looking for an alternative to the standard plastic bottle. It’s sized perfectly to fit in a lunch box, and kids like that the cardboard carton looks more like a juice box.”

Founders Matt Swanson and Chris O’Donovan are the enterprising duo behind RETHINK Water. The Maryland natives attended Washington College in Chestertown together before taking career paths that led them to Google and Body Armor, respectively. After several years of experience at Fortune 500 companies, Swanson and O’Donovan decided to venture into the beverage market, seeking to create an environmentally sustainable product.

“When we learned that only 38 percent of the approximately 50 billion plastic water bottles consumed in the U.S. annually actually get recycled, coupled with the health concerns associated with consuming water out of the plastic bottles, the packaged water category was an obvious choice to tackle first,” says Swanson, the company’s CEO. “We wanted to find a package that was both consumer friendly, 100 percent recyclable and not made from mainly plastic.”

RETHINK Water is currently the only filtered drinking water company in the U.S. to use the Tetra Pack carton packaging. It comes in a 16.9-ounce carton — the same size as a standard water bottle.

The company has plans to expand beyond the water market, always with the goal of giving back to the environment.

“Our long-term goal is to tackle other categories that are in need of positive innovation,” Swanson says.

RETHINK Water can be purchased at all Giant stores, High’s Dairy stores, through Amazon, and at the Wegman’s in Columbia. It retails for about $24 for a case of 12.

For more information, visit drinkrethinkwater.com

By Katie Riley

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