‘Plant-based water’ may sound like something of an oxymoron, but an Australian beverage brand is recovering water from the processing of fruit and vegetable juices to produce exactly that.
Aqua Botanical has launched through Coles stores nationwide at $4 a bottle.
The company’s patented water technology ‘harvests’ the aqueous liquid found in plants, removing any toxins that may be present and creating clean, filtered pure water that contains 74 plant minerals. The water is then bottled in recycled glass, even further reducing Aqua Botanical’s environmental impact.
Explaining the process, the company says that when fruit and vegetables are pressed to extract the juice and then evaporated to make concentrate, the process produces a large volume of water in parallel, which is typically discarded. With most plants comprising 90-per-cent water, Aqua Botanical converts the waste into a cost-effective and more environmentally friendly water source.
The idea was formed in 1998, when chemist Dr Bruce Kambouris was working on a winery in the Riverland region of South Australia. Noticing an alarming volume of water going to waste as a by-product of wine-making, he began a three-year journey to develop and patent technology to purify the water from fruit and vegetables.
Aqua Botanical estimates more than 18 billion litres of plant-based water is going to waste in Australia annually, enough to fill 7360 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
CEO and co-founder, Terry Paule said getting the company’s water on supermarkets shelves is an important way of ramping up consumer awareness of the solution to reducing waste.
“Coles brings convenience to the brand. Being able to provide Australians with a sustainable water product as part of their regular shop, means we can bring something new to those who are seeking a more environmentally-friendly option,” Paule said.
“Our goal is to get to the point where we can grow, harvest, bottle and sell water within a 200km radius, meaning we’re drastically reducing the carbon footprint it takes to transport the water. We will effectively be producing water that is ‘locally-grown’ and continuing our efforts to be the world’s most sustainable water brand.”