Advertisement

LJWorld Green

LMH dumps water bottles for boxes

New containers more environmentally friendly in several ways

Jennifer Juarez, left, of Snacks on Racks, based in Parkville, Mo., and Debbie Miers, director of Food and Nutrition at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, talk about the new water cartons that will be available at LMH later this week. The boxes will replace plastic water bottles.

Jennifer Juarez, left, of Snacks on Racks, based in Parkville, Mo., and Debbie Miers, director of Food and Nutrition at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, talk about the new water cartons that will be available at LMH later this week. The boxes will replace plastic water bottles.

April 13, 2009

Advertisement

Debbie Miers, director of Food and Nutrition at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, talks about the new eco-friendly water cartons that will be available at LMH later this week.

Debbie Miers, director of Food and Nutrition at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, talks about the new eco-friendly water cartons that will be available at LMH later this week.

Reader poll
Would you drink water packaged in paper boxes instead of plastic bottles?

or See the results without voting

LMH going green

Lawrence Memorial Hospital is ditching plastic water bottles in favor of natural spring water packaged in recycled containers. Enlarge video

Lawrence Memorial Hospital is ditching plastic water bottles and offering a greener option instead.

Beginning Wednesday, the hospital will be selling water in cartons — it will be the first in the nation to do so.

“It is something that could help the planet, plus help us,” said Debbie Miers, director of Food and Nutrition and a member of the hospital’s newly formed green task force.

ECO-Choice Natural Spring Water’s packaging is made from 74 percent paper. It is derived from renewable and sustainable resources. For example, the manufacturer uses wind energy to produce them. For every tree used for packaging, two trees are planted in its place.

Michael Trautschold, chief operating officer of Overland Park-based CRB Springwater, also said that because the cartons are square in shape, the company can transport more of them at a time, thus using less energy to store and transport them.

“This is a very efficient production process,” Trautschold said. “We can control how it is made and how it is transported. So, we think we are doing everything we can.”

The aseptic packaging also degrades faster than plastic if the cartons end up in a landfill, where most water bottle now go. Only about 18 percent of the estimated 60 million plastic water bottles used in the country are recycled. The hospital goes through about 720 24-ounce bottles per week, or more than 37,000 per year.

“If this goes into the landfill it is breaking down,” Miers said, holding up a carton. “It is not sitting there like your plastic bottles and your plastic bags; you are breaking this down into the ground.”

The water comes from a natural spring in Ohio and is routinely tested.

Jennifer Juarez, vice president of Snack on Racks, which is distributing the water, said she often is asked whether the water tastes like a milk carton. Her answer: No.

“The taste is great,” she said. “If you truly enjoy a bottle of water — some people are very particular — this lines up with the best of them,” she said.

Trautschold said CRB Springwater picked the packaging after researching consumer studies in Europe. He said the company preferred the new packaging because:

• The twist cap is bigger and easier to use.

• The cartons don’t roll around or tip over.

“It functions well from a drinking point of view, resealing point of view and storage point of view,” he said.

He said the water’s price would be comparable to other bottled water. The company is launching the product at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, which will be selling the cartons to the public. The price is still under negotiation.

Then, the company will slowly roll them out across the nation. Trautschold said he expects them to be in stores by June 1.

“It will be just in time for the summer drinking water season,” he said, smiling.

Comments

Chris Ogle 5 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

grammaddy 5 years, 8 months ago

Get your own reuseable bottle. I would make more sense to filter the water at the mainline so everyone could fill their own bottles from the drinking fountain. That would cut down on waste.

timetospeakup 5 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Danielle Brunin 5 years, 8 months ago

time,

I hate to say it, but I was thinking the same thing.

davidmcg 5 years, 8 months ago

I am not sure of the validity of a statement I heard on talk radio over the weekend about biodegradeable material. The person on the radio stated that bioderadeable material in the landfill is a contributing factor to air pollution. So its great if it degrades quickly and doesn't contaminate the ground water, but what about the air? Does anyone know if this is a valid statement or not?

RoeDapple 5 years, 8 months ago

Please correct me if I'm wrong. I was told the price of one bottle of water could purchase 160 gallons of tap water............

farmgal 5 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Janet Lowther 5 years, 8 months ago

The last time I heard, cartons were one of the few containers which were not recyclable. The plastic prevented 'em from being recycled as paper and the paper prevented 'em from being recycled as plastic.

If you assume water bottles go to the land fill, then cartons make sense.

If you assume water bottles go to recycling, then cartons don't.

Reality is somewhere between the two, but do you improve your recycling or abandon the use of recyclables because too few of them actually get recycled?

amazed 5 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Soup2Nuts 5 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

gphawk89 5 years, 8 months ago

The hospital where my wife works eliminated bottled water last year (and of course made a huge deal about how doing so was 'green'.) Now instead of drinking from and recycling plastic bottles, everyone uses styrofoam cups, most of which don't get recycled. Dumb.

sourpuss 5 years, 8 months ago

Tap water is fine with me. I don't drink out of plastic bottles anyway because of the pseudo-estrogens. Just get a mug and have some water.

However, the reason hospitals and other types of places uses pre-packaged water can be to ensure cleanliness in case a local water supply has a problem. There IS a use for packaged water, but like most things, people are going overboard with it.

camRD 5 years, 8 months ago

I am an avid user of reusable water bottles and drinker of tap water. Some people, however, just don't see the value. 'I never remember to bring it with me', and they believe that bottled water that's been trucked in is just better for you. Bottled water consumption will not stop tomorrow.

I absolutely do not think that these cartons are the answer to our prayers but for the people who cannot get away from consuming bottled water, I'd prefer they drink out of these. The aseptic packs (tetra-pak) are now recyclable so these CAN be recycled (albeit difficult). Additionally, they authors are saying that IF they end up in a landfill, the will degrade faster- NOT that they were MEANT to be thrown away.

LawrencePhD 5 years, 8 months ago

This is awesome! It's about time. Any efforts to reduce the use of plastic is a great thing!

jlw53 5 years, 8 months ago

Mr_Nancy_Boy_To_You be sure to click on the Enlarge photo link

MaryKatesPillStash 5 years, 8 months ago

I bring my own reusable bottle to work/gym/outings, but when I forget it, I will buy a plastic bottle of water and reuse the bottle several times before recycling it.

For some reason, I see myself reusing this type of container much less than a plastic bottle. But perhaps the average joe is less inclined to reuse any type of bottle to begin with, so this might be a better alternative (assuming average joe is pitching it rather than recycling it).

KEITHMILES05 5 years, 8 months ago

All this fluff but yet they refuse to disclose a price.

Dollars to donuts this new fangled green stuff will cost more than bottled water.

Who will stand to profit? LMH.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 5 years, 8 months ago

How about buying stainless bottles and "bottling" their own from the tap?

"Please tell me how water bottled in Ohio and shipped here is “Green” when we already have water here."

Well, first of all... it's not bottled, it's "boxed". I thought I'd be the first to correct you.

And, get used to it: green initiatives often have a very brown underbelly. Empty, inefficient transit busses. Alternative fuels that in the end create more C02, but not in the metro areas, but in rural and sometimes near-pristine areas. Electric cars run on electricity generated in coal plants in poor states. Ethanol requires oil and pesticides/herbicides. The list goes on and on. But, because the "green" political machine (think smoke-filled rooms with vegans instead of bankers) really only cares about their agenda and not results, we have hollow green inititiatives like this.

Did anyone else notice: price is still under negotiation. Translation: if you think health care is inaccessible to the poor now, the cost is about to go up.

All that matters is the appearance of political correctness.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 8 months ago

I am an average Jo who does not recycle. I toss without a qualm. I think an incinerator should be developed that could reduce the trash to ash which would be treated so that it could be used as fertilizer.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 8 months ago

If you care to check out my blog, on Lifestyles, you will see a picture I took on the bus. It ain't empty!

bangaranggerg 5 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Marcus DeMond 5 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Jonathan Kealing 5 years, 8 months ago

Hi, Just a reminder that it is a violation of our Web site terms of service to attack other users, staff members as well as sources in stories. If the attacks continue against the sources in this story, your accounts will be deactivated.

Thanks, Jonathan Kealing Online editor

Chris Ogle 5 years, 8 months ago

Al Gore invented the internet, you know. I saw it on TV so I am sure it is true.

Chris Ogle 5 years, 8 months ago

People on this earth (specifically Americans) are a constant source of entertainment for me.

Grasshopper says, finally I have reached my goal, oh wise one.

roggy 5 years, 8 months ago

I think our hospital should try to promote a healthy lifestyle and that should start with the food choices in their dining room and vending machines. Right now they seem to promote a lot of bad eating choices. It would be great to have the opportunity to eat well if you have to spend a lot of time at the hospital. It could also be beneficial to the staff.

flyboy51 5 years, 8 months ago

I think for someone to make a statement about anyone is out of order if they do not know the persn.

flyboy51 5 years, 8 months ago

To original-me are you perfect? This is about bottled water not your opinion on someone's appearance.

Jaylee 5 years, 8 months ago

tom and original, we were on the same page the whole time reading that article. its like putting a ganglord in charge of the after school program for troubled teens. even if they were saying the right things, how could you possibly heed advice from such a source?

and whoever questioned whether water is part of food and nutrition, yes, duh! its pretty basic.

and i wish the water were bottled somewhere moderately clean or pristine. ohio?

farmgal 5 years, 8 months ago

Original Me, better be careful there or ole jkealing will delete your observation and comment...

bearded_gnome 5 years, 8 months ago

so, instead of recycling, landfilling, these babies, what if we burn 'em! I vote for burning them! not much plastic so not too much noxious fumes! we can put some carbon into the atmosphere that way, too. and the bottles ain't taking up space then.

am I an average Joe, to said elitist? I do drink bottled water, only mine has a fizz.


Original_Me (Anonymous) says…

farmgal: Thanks. I thought that blogging is a place to “discuss” the matter of issues? (And as I've learned, back & forthing with other bloggers.) I'm a new blogger, almost a couple months old. That is all I have seen, a keyboard-fist-fight between Lawrencians on the LJ World. If there wasn't any blogging, I wouldn't read the news on here. Blogging has made reading the news part actually interesting.

---Original_me

well welcome. "keyboard fistfights," good choice of words.

Janice Seymour 5 years, 8 months ago

There are always healthy choices available at LMH, just like you can get your junk food fix if you want. Most employees, construction workers, patients and even visitors get their LMH mugs and fill them with water or whatever with a huge decrease in the use of disposable cups. Tumbilweed can have my straw when I’m done with – I’ll even wash it; but don’t give me someone’s washed straw. Our society will never be totally green because we are spoiled, but most of us do try to some extent. However, who wants to try and make a good change and then watch everyone sit back and pick it apart, piece by piece? You can never please some people.

RoeDapple 5 years, 8 months ago

Irish (Irish Swearingen) says… "If you care to check out my blog, on Lifestyles, you will see a picture I took on the bus. It ain't empty!"

Roe - Went to check it out, credited to HermioneElliott

Commenting has been disabled for this item.