Jason Momoa is back in the news for cutting his hair to promote Mananalu Pure Water, headquartered in Boone, North Carolina. His Hawaii-themed water served in aluminum instead of plastic containers, is sourced from Bozeman, Montana, Montebello, California, and Norfolk, Nebraska. This is true for sustainability reasons, according to their website.
But there’s other controversy too, related to cost, recycling, safety, environmental impact, and more.
If you take up his challenge to reduce one plastic container for each Mananalu aluminum can you buy, it will cost you three times as much as plastic to do that. Your editors took the bite and bought a 12-pack of Mananalu for $27.99 on Amazon with free shipping at 15 cents an ounce. Alternatively, we could have purchased Poland Springs water in plastic for 4 cents an ounce and with no Hawaii name. The question is, would we do it again? Let us know what you think our answer is.
“Aquaman” star Momoa went to Instagram to show his locks being cut while promoting his aluminum water and speaking out on the elimination of single-use plastic of all sorts. This is his latest promotion after serving as a flight attendant on Hawaiian Airlines to promote their use of Mananalu on flights to and from the mainland.
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Momoa’s bottled water company is Mananalu Water, which sells water in aluminum bottles. He said, “I’m tired of these plastic bottles, we’ve got to stop.”
“Here’s to new beginnings, let’s spread the aloha” is the caption of the Instagram post.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Which is better?
Recycling is widely considered the last and least effective of this hierarchy. Reusable bottling is more sustainable than recyclable.
Is aluminum the safest and best choice for water bottles anyway?
According to the Mananalu website, “You may have heard myths about over-exposure to aluminum and whether it’s linked to things like Alzheimer’s or autism. But that is all they are… Myths based on decades-old studies that have since been debunked many times over. The truth is that it’s safe to drink from aluminum—very safe—according to science, data, and industry leaders alike. Of course, safety is a top concern when it comes to what you serve your family, so let us put your mind at ease.”
Others have written about potential but unsubstantiated links to Alzheimer’s. In addition, unlined aluminum reacts with the acid in beverages, so even adding a lemon wedge to your aluminum bottle might not be the best thing to do.
Then too, if the aluminum bottles to some degree also end up in the refuse, will we have just gone from one source of pollution to another? The UK non-profit Carbon Trust said, “The aluminum industry can play on the fact that its product is infinitely recyclable, and they’re right. But primary aluminum uses huge amounts of electricity, and it’s also got some chemical releases of greenhouse gas emissions.”
While it’s all complicated, Reuters also reported that “A 330 ml [aluminum] can is responsible for 1,300 grams of carbon dioxide emissions… A plastic bottle of the same size… accounts for up to 330 grams.
Coca-Cola chimed in saying “When we look at a different material, you look at all of the levers: the carbon footprint, consumer preference, energy, water. There’s a mix, there are some things that are not that desirable, but if you have five good things and one that isn’t, we’ll all have to make decisions.”
Water filter giant Brita is going aluminum too.
The water filter company Brita, is now selling multi-packs of aluminum-packed water. Brita Premium Purified Water, says it is an alternative to single-use plastic water bottles. They are taking on the $20B bottled water industry. Their water is packed in 100% aluminum containers that are highly durable and refillable. They are unlined which while reducing the impact of potentially dangerous liner chemicals, means that the potential for interaction with acid does exist.
Brita Water is being sold nationally. Brita is owned by Clorox. Brita says “we’re selling a solution that is an alternative to single-use plastic.”
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