Wallaby Water: The single-use plastic alternative with a twist

Wallaby Water

The trouble with marketing canned water is communicating to people that it is, in fact, water, and not soft drink or beer. The trouble with not producing water in aluminum cans, however, is far greater – it probably won’t get recycled.

Dominic Goldsworthy founded Wallaby Water in December of 2018 after years of working in New York and watching his colleagues’ desks pile high with single use plastic drink bottles.

“I never thought I’d end up in the canned water business,” Dominic laughs, “it’s a bit of a funny story actually.”

No one was working with the largest producer of single use plastic in the beverage industry – bottled water.”

He had been developing software for a paper-free coat check company when the idea started to form.

“The take away life style was everywhere in the US,” Dominic recalls, “coffee cups, lunch containers, cutlery and plastic bottles would pile up at people’s desks from breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

Reducing single use items such as straws and bags was starting to make waves across the USA and Europe.

“But no one was working with the largest producer of single use plastic in the beverage industry – bottled water,” he says.

When visa expiration pushed him to leave the USA, Dominic dabbled in schnapps distilling and was of a mind to return to Australia to start up his own schnapps distillery.

“I was looking for something different,” he says, and no one was really doing schnapps in Australia.

Then he happened upon something else no one was doing – providing an alternative to bottled water.

“I worked with National Geographic journalist Lillygol Sedaghat,” Dominic explains, “she helped expose information about Australia’s recycling crisis, about plastic not being recycled even if it was collected.”

Working with Lillygol, Dominic discovered one of the major reasons for plastic’s poor recycling rate is its low value. It’s estimated that just 9 per cent of the world’s plastic has been recycled.

Plastic is worth less than $300 per tonne, according to his research, which is more than glass at $30 per tonne, but nothing in comparison with aluminium at over $2000 per tonne.

“And aluminium can be recycled infinitely,” he concludes, “it’s the obvious choice.”

And aluminium can be recycled infinitely it’s the obvious choice.”

With many venues, events and councils around Australia moving away from single use plastics, the recyclable drink container was instantly well received, Dominic says.

“We launched the product in March this year [2019], and went into production in June. We now have product reaching almost every corner of Australia.”

Wallaby Water is also due to hit shelves Australia-wide in the ice-cream shops of Ben & Jerry’s, which Dominic says is at “the forefront of the sustainable packaging revolution”.

“They just replaced their plastic spoons and are encouraging people to choose a free cone over the single-use paper cups. As of next month they’ll be replacing their PET bottles with cans”

Packaged at the source at the foothills of an extinct volcano in Victoria’s midlands.”

Dominic and the Wallaby Water team recognise that transitioning to reusable bottles is the ultimate goal, but in the meantime there’s real appetite for more eco-friendly alternatives.

“Packaged at source is essential to premium product,” Dominic says, “too many of the packaged waters on shelves are processed tap water, or transported across thousands of kilometers.”

Wallaby’s water is packaged at the source at the foothills of an extinct volcano in Victoria’s midlands, the water is exceptionally smooth and rich with natural minerals.

“And we’ve got some really exciting projects in the works,” he says, hinting at a partnership with a global charity.

Wallaby Water

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