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Dasani Water Will Soon Be Sold in Aluminum Cans

Business
Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola is stepping up its green initiative by giving a makeover to its Dasani brand, which is the best selling bottled water brand in a country where bottled water is the best selling beverage.


The beverage giant will start to sell Dasani water in aluminum cans next month in the Northeast and plans to expand distribution to other parts of the country by 2020, according to Bloomberg. Aluminum bottles will follow the aluminum cans. Worldwide, aluminum is exponentially more likely to be recycled and to be made from recycled material. Additionally, aluminum is far less likely to end up in oceans and rivers.

Coca-Cola's packaging follows a move by its chief rival PepsiCo, which announced it would sell its water brand, Aquafina, in cans at restaurants and arenas. Dasani and Aquafina are the country's top two water brands, in that order, with combined sales of more than $2 billon per year, according to Bloomberg.

The change to Dasani's packaging could help Coca-Cola eliminate 1 billion virgin plastic bottles, made with non-recycled plastic, from its supply chain over the next five years, according to CNN.

"We are a consumer company, and as consumers say, 'Well, we'd like to try cans,' we're going to put cans in the market," said Bruce Karas, vice president of environment and sustainability at Coca-Cola, as Fast Company reported.

Dasani will still be available in plastic bottles too, but, as part of Coca-Cola's "World Without Waste" initiative, it will reduce the amount of plastic in those containers through a process called light-weighting. The company is also unveiling a new hybrid bottle made with up to 50 percent recycled plastic and renewable, plant-based materials, according to CNN.

Additionally, Coca-Cola will also test a new Dasani vending machine that requires customers to bring their own bottle if they want water or seltzer. The company will issue 100 machines, called PureFill, to test out if customers respond well to it and help Coke deal with its plastic waste problem.

"It's actually an experiment in how comfortable are people with that type of delivery," said Karas, as Fast Company reported.

Not using a package at all is the only low-impact solution, according to a recent report from Green Alliance, a non-profit based in the UK. The report noted that mining aluminum and transporting glass both have a very large carbon-footprint, which means alternatives to plastic are not actually sustainable, as Fast Company reported.

"Refill systems can and must replace single-use plastic water bottles," said Dianna Cohen, cofounder and CEO of the Plastic Pollution Coalition, to Fast Company. "The time is now for all of us to think 'reusable' instead of 'disposable.'"

The World Without Waste initiative is a response to a public shaming of Coca-Cola's outsized use of plastic. It produced 3.3 millions tons of plastic in 2017. And, a recent report by Greenpeace called Coca-Cola "the most prolific polluter" compared to other top brands, as CNN reported.

Coca-Cola hopes its move to reduce plastic will reinvigorate interest in its water brand, which it fears will slip if would-be customers refill water bottles for free at a sink or fountain.

"We really think about the future of this brand differentiating on sustainability credentials," said Lauren King, brand director for Dasani, who noted that Dasani is growing along with the bottled water trend, according to CNN.

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A volcano erupts on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island on Dec. 9, 2019. Michael Schade / Twitter

A powerful volcano on Monday rocked an uninhabited island frequented by tourists about 30 miles off New Zealand's coast. Authorities have confirmed that five people died. They expect that number to rise as some are missing and police officials issued a statement that flights around the islands revealed "no signs of life had been seen at any point,", as The Guardian reported.

"Based on the information we have, we do not believe there are any survivors on the island," the police said in their official statement. "Police is working urgently to confirm the exact number of those who have died, further to the five confirmed deceased already."

The eruption happened on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island, an islet jutting out of the Bay of Plenty, off the country's North Island. The island is privately owned and is typically visited for day-trips by thousands of tourists every year, according to The New York Times.

Michael Schade / Twitter

At the time of the eruption on Monday, about 50 passengers from the Ovation of Seas were on the island, including more than 30 who were part of a Royal Caribbean cruise trip, according to CNN. Twenty-three people, including the five dead, were evacuated from the island.

The eruption occurred at 2:11 pm local time on Monday, as footage from a crater camera owned and operated by GeoNet, New Zealand's geological hazards agency, shows. The camera also shows dozens of people walking near the rim as white smoke billows just before the eruption, according to Reuters.

Police were unable to reach the island because searing white ash posed imminent danger to rescue workers, said John Tims, New Zealand's deputy police commissioner, as he stood next to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a press conference, as The New York Times reported. Tims said rescue workers would assess the safety of approaching the island on Tuesday morning. "We know the urgency to go back to the island," he told reporters.

"The physical environment is unsafe for us to return to the island," Tims added, as CNN reported. "It's important that we consider the health and safety of rescuers, so we're taking advice from experts going forward."

Authorities have had no communication with anyone on the island. They are frantically working to identify how many people remain and who they are, according to CNN.

Geologists said the eruption is not unexpected and some questioned why the island is open to tourism.

"The volcano has been restless for a few weeks, resulting in the raising of the alert level, so that this eruption is not really a surprise," said Bill McGuire, emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London, as The Guardian reported.

"White Island has been a disaster waiting to happen for many years," said Raymond Cas, emeritus professor at Monash University's school of earth, atmosphere and environment, as The Guardian reported. "Having visited it twice, I have always felt that it was too dangerous to allow the daily tour groups that visit the uninhabited island volcano by boat and helicopter."

The prime minister arrived Monday night in Whakatane, the town closest to the eruption, where day boats visiting the island are docked. Whakatane has a large Maori population.

Ardern met with local council leaders on Monday. She is scheduled to meet with search and rescue teams and will speak to the media at 7 a.m. local time (1 p.m. EST), after drones survey the island, as CNN reported.