DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas— Plastic pollution is one of the most pressing environmental issues both locally and globally, with over 1 trillion pieces of single-use plastic entering our waste stream and 8 million tons dumped in the oceans every year.
Austin-based Richard’s Rainwater is responding to the urgent need to curb single-use plastic by eliminating plastic bottles from their popular product line and switching to recyclable aluminum cans. Aluminum cans are far more valuable than plastic which means municipal recycling programs are more financially viable. The cans effectively subsidize the recycling of less valuable materials in the bin.
All Richard’s Rainwater still water will be sold in a recyclable 16 oz. aluminum cans and 750 mL recyclable glass bottles. Richard’s Rainwater sparkling water will remain in their classic 12 oz. glass bottles. The brand has ceased production and packaging of single-use plastic bottles and the new, more environmentally-friendly, packaging will hit shelves in March 2020.
The new packaging has already been applauded and embraced by top retailers like H.E.B., Whole Foods, Arlan’s Market, McCaffrey’s and The Fresh Market with national locations in Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
In addition to the new packaging, Richard’s Rainwater is partnering with Austin Parks Foundation to keep the company’s own backyard clean. All profits in March from the sale of the new cans nationally will be donated to the non-profit that improves and enhances the parks in the capital of Texas. This money has been earmarked for putting recycling containers throughout Austin’s 20,000 acres of green space that make up nearly 300 parks.
“For nearly 30 years, Austin Parks Foundation has worked to make parks better for all Austinities,” said Colin Wallis, Austin Parks Foundation CEO. “We could not do this work without dedicated partners and we are thrilled to be part of this new initiative from Richard’s Rainwater. Together, we will make recycling in Austin’s parks more accessible and we’ll ensure our parks stay cleaner and greener for future generations.” AA
Richard’s Rainwater is already at the forefront of sustainability by capturing 100% renewable rainwater before it touches the ground, preventing absorption of natural and man-made pollutants. This also avoids draining local water reserves, and local collection prevents the product from being shipped across the globe, saving on the carbon footprint it takes for water to cross countries and borders. The purity of rainwater as a source allows for a near-zero waste purification process with lower energy usage and no chlorine additives.
“Rainwater is unquestionably the most sustainable source of drinking water on the planet. We’re committed to continuously improving on everything when it comes to sustainability, and that means bringing our packaging up to meet the high standards of our water,” explained company president Taylor O’Neil. “Based on what Bea Perez said at Davos, Coca Cola doesn’t seem to agree that this is an urgent issue. But we have confidence that our consumers want a better future for the planet and we are thrilled with the response from our partners.”
Richard’s Rainwater has grown exponentially in the last two years, with more than 6 million bottles produced and availability in over a thousand locations. The brand collects more than 30 thousand gallons of water every time it rains one inch at any of its sites. By the end of 2020, Richard’s will be capturing water in three states with rapid expansion planned for the rest of the country.
About Richard’s Rainwater
Richard’s Rainwater is the first bottled rainwater and sparkling rainwater brand. Richard started with a quest to get cleaner, better-tasting water for a ranch near Austin, TX in 1994. His dream has grown into a movement to provide clean, great-tasting water for everyone, everywhere. From cloud to bottle, it is the most naturally pure source of water on the market. Richard’s Rainwater is caught clean from the sky before it has a chance to mix with contaminants, is bottled fresh in sustainable packaging, and contains 100% rain as the only ingredient. The team at Richard’s Rainwater is committed to environmental conservation and to partnering with more organizations to continue to push the envelope and pursue unique reuse efforts. Their pledge is to support clean water initiatives around the world. You can say hello to the water or tomorrow on Instagram (@RichardsRainwater) and Facebook and at their website: richardsrainwater.com.
About Austin Parks Foundation
Founded in 1992, Austin Parks Foundation (APF) is dedicated to partnering with our community to enhance people’s lives by making our public parks, trails, and green spaces better through volunteerism, innovative programming, advocacy, and financial support. APF is focused on creating equitable access to great parks for all Austinites and helps fill the City’s funding and resource gap in order to develop and maintain Austin’s nearly 300 parks. APF fosters unique public/private partnerships and, since 2006, has given over $3 million in community-initiated grants in service to the greater Austin community. APF is known for its annual flagship volunteer event, It’s My Park Day, and is a presenting partner and beneficiary of the popular Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Metropolitan Park. For more information, please visit austinparks.org.