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  • Writer's pictureJim Bessman

Water bottles big at NY NOW


Que's Kevin Shen, left, and Alex Tong, at NY NOW

The burgeoning marketplace for water bottles continues to expand, and the product line was well represented this week at the NY NOW trade show at the Javits Center.

Among the new entrants was the year-old que Bottle company, maker of collapsible BPA-free food-grade silicone bottles in 20- and 12-ounce sizes and six colors. Launched at the show last year, the bottles came about after its founders saw how much plastic waste accumulated at the venues and grounds of the music festivals they traveled to throughout the U.S.

Deciding that the current bottles were either too bulky to travel with, too flimsy to withstand the demands of frequent travel, or just plain too ugly, they designed a bottle that was both functional and good-looking. Indeed, the spiral-shaped bottles, which compress to half-size when emptied, are on display and sold at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Also new at NY NOW were decanters to go with VitaJuwel’s ViA Collection of gemstone-enhanced glass bottles for Gem-Water Bottles. These bottles incorporate a dozen gemstone blends--all encased in specially sealed glass “gempod” vials centered at the bottom of the bottles; the stones are said to have “the unique ability to store energy,” much in the manner of the mechanism of quartz watches. They then transfer their energy to the water in the bottle and surrounding the vial, thereby “restructuring” the water and improving its “vitalization level.”

“It’s a demonstrable difference,” said Gem-Water’s Dominic Sinesio, explaining that the use of gems to return water to its “structured state” goes back centuries. “The gems ‘wake up’ the water, which is deconstructed and ‘dead’ by the time it goes through all the filters and pipes and gets to your tap.”

“Our bottles do something more than just hold water,” Sinesio added. Over at Dopper's booth, meanwhile, the goal, according to marketing executive Amer Jandali, was to “elevate the status of tap water,” and in fact the Dopper bottle’s Dutch design allows water to be “placed on a pedestal.”

Sure enough, the three-piece Dopper bottle construction (they come in plastic, steel, and new solid steel configurations) break down into a two-piece bottle consisting of bottle and cup, or a one-piece bottle of the screwed-together bottle and cup and the bottle cap (the third piece of the Dopper bottle set). The cap is such that it can not only serve as a stand for the cup, it can be the base of the entire bottle when turned upside-down, the unit then looking like it's standing on a pedestal.

But appearance aside, the Dopper bottle, says Jandali, is the only cradle-to-cradle water bottle recycling enterprise in that its both entirely reusable and recyclable--with five percent of sales going to fund building of water wells in Nepal.

“The goal is not to make a profit, but to positively impact the world,” said Jandali, “and for our bottles to never see a landfill.”

The Dopper mission statement further outlines the environmental damage of single-use plastic in noting that only one percent of plastic is recycled worldwide, that 50 percent is discarded immediately after use, that the five largest ocean areas where plastic waste converges can contain up to 36 times more plastic than plankton--plastic that enters our food chain in small particles via marine life and birds--and that one liter of water and one liter of oil is required to produce a single plastic bottle.

As for the venerable S’well supplier of upscale insulated reusable beverage containers, It showed its first new product launched under the brand name since the original bottle debuted in 2010.

The S’well Traveler bottle, with wide mouth, thick rim and ergonomic grip, comes in three sizes (12-, 16- and 20-ounce), whereas the S’well Tumbler is in two sizes (10- and 18-ounce) and fitted with a separately sold Tumbler Lid that is also insulated and turns any S’well Tumbler into an on-the-go, splash-free cup.

“Our water bottles are functional, but also fashionable!” said company founder/CEO Sarah Kauss, and sure enough, the new entries each come in a variety of patterns and colors--including two new colors, Flare and Midnight Blue.

“We can’t help but hope we’re providing more opportunities for customers to consume less single-use plastic in the process," said Kauss.



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