Greenhouse Pioneer: Ariel Booker, CanO Water
A staggering 13 billion plastic bottles are used each year in the UK, many of which end up in landfill or our oceans. CanO Water is a British start-up formed by three friends who, after witnessing the detrimental impact plastic waste was having on our planet while on their travels, are giving people the choice to say no to plastic.
Since that trip, their can-do attitude has led to them developing a resealable and infinitely recyclable tin can full of spring water, that’s now sold in supermarkets across the UK.
Greenhouse spoke to CanO Water’s co-founder, Ariel Booker, to discover what drives him and what we can expect from the plastic waste pioneers (hint... you’ll be seeing a lot more of them very soon!).
Tell us about CanO Water - what's your mission?
CanO Water was created as an infinitely recyclable alternative to plastic bottles.
What drives you?
Doing something positive for the world we live in. There’s a lot of people who believe that somebody else is going to clean up our mess, but that’s not always the case. We need to address the problems ourselves.
It’s also very rewarding to see the direct impact CanO Water has at larger scale events, as we can replace all of plastic bottles that people would have had.
What is your greatest achievement to date?
We have a few, but I think the greatest would be launching the first alternative to plastic bottles in any UK supermarket. Supplying the Royal Wedding and the Oscars were also big moments that we will never forget.
What are the challenges you face?
Originally the biggest challenge was getting people to believe in the product and believe in the need for an alternative to single use plastic, which got much easier after Blue Planet aired.
Another challenge is that we don’t come from a food and beverage background, so navigating the market can be tricky at times and we have to be a jack of all trades.
What are you working on that's getting you fired up and excited?
We have just announced a partnership with WHSmith travel, so we’ll be in all airport and train stations which is a big achievement for us. Working on major retail launches is what really excites us because it means we’re giving a large audience an alternative choice to plastic.
Where do you want to take CanO Water next?
When we started, we always said we wanted to see our product next to every plastic bottle on any retail shelve. So, our goal is to have CanO Water everywhere, as clichéd as it sounds. The more products we have on the shelves, the less plastic in the ocean or in landfill.
What can we, as individuals, do to make a difference?
Be conscious of the decisions you make when it comes to buying products. Research companies and their sustainable endeavours and whether they’re a company that has a positive cause. There’s a lot more businesses out there now that are purpose led, so you can easily have a positive effect on the world with your choice.
How is what you are doing inspiring change in others?
CanO Water was founded by my two friends and me. None of us came from a food and beverage background, so we had no idea about what we were doing apart from the fact we were passionate about the company’s mission. I hope that this is inspiring people to just get up and work on what they’re passionate about. Anyone is capable of achieving incredible things they have that drive behind them.
Can you recommend a life- or game-changing book for our readers?
The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday. This book is about turning any obstacle or problem that you have into a solution or triumph.
What do you listen to when you're cooking dinner?
Podcast called How I Built This. The Power Rangers one in particular is very good.
What's the best advice you've ever been given?
Always trust your gut feeling.
Can you leave us with who'd be your Eco Hero?
It’s got to be David Attenborough.
Head over to our blog to read more interviews with pioneers creating sustainable products, including Rebel Kitchen, Vintage Roots and Clearspring. If you represent a consumer brand that is helping to build a more sustainable future and looking to increase its impact, get in touch and let’s team up in the fight against waste.