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Searching for a Clean Water Alternative? Think Inside the Box!


Two children at a beach cleanup taking a break

Searching for a Clean Water Alternative? Think Inside the Box!

By Melanie Pleasant

Today, we’re highlighting our long-time partner, Boxed Water. We have been proud partners of Boxed Water for about three years.   

Boxed Water is a powerhouse in the fight against plastic pollution and a great clean water alternative. They are also an excellent water company. Boxed Water is passionate about helping the environment, especially through planting trees. They also pursue their environmental efforts by co-hosting beach cleanups with us.    

We chatted with Richard Arterbury, Ocean Blue Project founder, and Rob Koenen, Chief Marketing Officer of Boxed Water. We talked more about Boxed Water and its environmental outreach initiatives.

Partners in Beach Clean-ups and Beyond

ocean plastic pollution

Boxed Water is an invaluable partner in several aspects of our environmental outreach. For starters, Boxed Water helps sponsor Ocean Blue Project beach cleanups across America. 

Additionally, they donate enough water for every participant at each beach cleanup. They also donate funds to put on beach cleanups. Boxed Water also brings in other partners to help our organization further our mission.

”Boxed Water connected us with other partners to help fund beach cleanups. We teamed up with TOMS shoes to do a virtual beach cleanup where over 50 people participated,” said Arterbury.

Every great partnership needs a matchmaker. Our partnership with Boxed Water was made possible by an organization called 1% of the Planet. They match environmentally friendly for-profit businesses with like-minded nonprofit partners. 

This way, both parties’ goals of helping the environment get accomplished. It’s a win-win for the companies and the environment.

Boxed Water works with Ocean Blue Project to achieve their goal of cleaning 3,000 miles of beaches. This goal is important because if you were to walk on a beach today, over 70% of the litter you would see is plastic.

Unfortunately, birds often confuse plastic waste as food. The consequences of that confusion can be deadly. Not to mention the other animals plastic waste harms such as sea turtles.

As it stands now, our one world ocean has become infested with over 8 million tons of plastic every year. So, as you can see, this situation is dire.

Boxed Water and Ocean Blue Project work together to remove 10,000 pounds of plastic every year. After the plastic gets removed, it gets upcycled into packaging like the upcycled Head and Shoulders shampoo bottles created through a past partnership with Terracycle and P&G. 

Arterbury said, “Both organizations believe in what the other is doing so much. This has been such a positive partnership and we are so proud to be working with Boxed Water.”

“At the end of the day, it takes people, not corporations, to make changes in this world. It’s all about education and outreach,” said Koenen.

Brief Boxed Water History

The Michigan-based company was started by Benjamin Gott in 2009. They started as an eco-friendly clean water alternative to the water bottle. The goal from the very beginning of the company was to give back to the environment and make a positive impact. 

Koenen said, “Our first thought as a company was, “what can we do to better serve the environment?” That was when we landed on partnering with a non-profit.”

Boxed Water found growing success in their home state of Michigan as well as across the country. In 2013, Boxed Water got its big break. Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits named Boxed Water their official water sponsor. Since then, Boxed Water has been growing in popularity nation-wide.

Most companies use celebrity endorsements to help boost their growth. Koenen said, “We don’t have celebrities to endorse our product. The planet is our celebrity. We put our endorsement money toward giving back to the planet.”

As of right now, the physical Boxed Water product is 92% plant based. It is made of 100% renewable materials.

Koenen said, “The plastic cap was petroleum-based. There were sugar cane-based caps, but those were demanding on land and water resources. So Ellopack, who does our packaging, helped work with us and the FDA to make the cap we have now.”

All aspects of Boxed Water’s business are as eco-friendly as possible. Filling and distribution are no exception. As Boxed Water continued to grow, it needed another filling location. So it added another one in Utah in addition to the Michigan filling center. Boxed Water can reach the entire United States while minimizing their carbon footprint. 

“The main water supply for Boxed Water is Lake Michigan for our Michigan filling center. We use Deschutes River for our Utah filling center,” said Koenen.

An important part of Boxed Water’s environmental efforts is planting trees. They worked with 1% of the Planet to partner with the National Forest Foundation. Boxed Water and National Forest Foundation have planted over 1,000,000 trees.

Post a picture of your very own box of Boxed Water on social media and use the hashtag #betterplanet. Boxed Water and the National Forest Foundation will plant not one, but two trees.  You can have a tree planted for you and your friend by posting on social media. How cool is that?!

When asked to sum up Boxed Water, Koenen said, “We’re like Fiji without the guilt”.

The future looks bright for Boxed Water. “We are planning to grow internationally. We are also looking at anything made from plastic, like coffee and tea containers. So we can reduce the plastic use in those areas,” said Koenen.

Boxed Water vs. Traditional Plastic Water Bottles

Boxed Water


There are many reasons why Boxed Water is a better choice as a clean water alternative than traditional bottled water. Boxed Water is a major step in the right direction to end plastic pollution from our oceans and beaches. Plastic bottles have created an emergency in the fight for clean beaches and oceans. Boxed Water is here as the solution to that problem.

As mentioned before, Boxed Water’s packaging is 92% plant-based. This means it’s 100% renewable and has little effect on the ozone. Plastic water bottles have a negative impact on the ozone that is 18 times greater than Boxed Water.

“You can plant trees, but you can’t put oil back in the ground,” said Koenen.

Boxed Water packaging can be folded flat during the shipping process. More Boxed Water boxes can be shipped at one time than water bottles. This further decreases Boxed Water’s carbon footprint.

Koenen said, “If everyone stopped buying plastic water bottles and switched to boxed water, you could power NYC for 4 months.”

If you’re concerned about the reusable value and convenience of Boxed Water, don’t worry. Boxed Water can be refilled many times like disposable plastic water bottles. The cap is also resealable and can be cleaned and sanitized with ease. Boxed Water can also be thrown in a bag or carried on a walk, like bottled water.

Boxed Water has another edge over traditional plastic water bottles. It now comes in several different all-natural fruit flavors. These flavors are blackberry, cucumber, grapefruit and lemon. Bonus, they come without any sugars or additives. So you can make a better choice for the environment while treating your taste buds. 

“We waited 10 years to come out with flavors to focus on education and awareness first,” said Koenen.

Boxed Water will also deliver straight to your house with free shipping.

Now to talk about the actual water inside the Boxed Water packaging. Even the water inside the package is better for the environment and for you too. This water is 100% pure water. It is completely free of the chemicals that appear in plastic water bottles. This includes chlorine. Yuck!

Koenen said, “Our water is so great tasting because it’s a pH neutral water. It goes through an eight step purification process. This process includes UV light, reverse osmosis, which takes a few steps to achieve, activated carbon, and ion exchange.”

Worried about losing the affordability of traditional plastic-based water bottles? Fear not! Contrary to popular belief, Boxed Water is actually cheaper than bottled water. It is also available on Amazon for extra added convenience. So you can be friendly to the environment and your wallet!

Ocean Blue Partner Water Bottle

Win a Free Water Bottle

Next time you’re in the market for a clean water alternative, please consider Boxed Water. The environment and ozone layer will thank you and you’d be glad you did. 

Plus, when you’re all done drinking out of them, the cartons make wonderful planters. You could even use them to plant a tree or two of your very own. 

Love what we do and want to show your support around town? Here’s a free and easy way to win some Ocean Blue Project swag. Share a picture of your favorite beach on social media and tag us @oceanblueproject. You could win an Ocean Blue Project branded reusable water bottle.  

Author Bio: Melanie Pleasant is a Los Angeles-based copywriter. She always has her bucket hat ready for a good adventure.