For those unfamiliar with it, Waterdrop is a company who makes various products for the food and beverages industry, such as microdrinks and reusable bottles.

One of its aims is encouraging people to consume more water, as staying hydrated in this day and age is critical so we don't succumb to the blasting hot weather. The company's range of microdrinks makes water more delicious and easier to drink, while bringing an important amount of vitamins and minerals to the body. At the same time, through its line of reusable cups and bottles, Waterdrop aims to reduce the amount of plastic waste that reaches Earth largest waterways.

Drinking more water sustainably, Waterdrop's mission

The oceans represent 71% of the surface of our plant and they provide a critical component for life on Earth. The various ecosystems are comprised of beings that help us with our food supply, but also with regards to our oxygen reserve, while helping us stabilize the temperature around the globe.

We talked to Katerina Navrátilová, CEO Waterdrop CEE, to find out more about the pressing issue of plastic waste in our large waterways, but also about how companies such as Waterdrop can help us keep our oceans clean.

The Waterdrop team works in various departments to ensure the development of innovative products, while also teaching customers about the various benefits of using reusable bottles and drinking plenty of water.

To help people hydrate responsibly, the company also has partnerships with various NGO's, such as Plastic Bank, with whom Waterdrop collaborates since the very beginning. Another collaboration is set in stone with People in Need, an NGO which operates in 50 countries across multiple continents and which helps people found in less favorable environments and situations bypass critical situations.

The quality of the product, just as important as its sustainability

When it comes to developing and manufacturing a reusable bottle, for Waterdrop is just as important for the product to be sustainable, as well as durable. Thus, Katerina says that "we make bottles from quality materials, such as stainless steel, glass and wood, which can hold for many years, should they be cared for correctly. We have bottles for daily. use, made from double-layered stainless steel, which can maintain drinks cold for as long as 24 hours and warm for up to 12 hours."

Single-layered stainless steel bottles, made specifically for sports, can't quite keep the drinks at optimal temperature for as long, which is why company engineers are looking at ways to improve their thermal efficiency.

Also, for the glass bottles, Waterdrop packs a neoprene protective cover, which besides improving durability, helps with thermal efficiency, as well.

Millions of satisfied customers

The CEO of Waterdrop CEE says that customer satisfaction is very high when it comes to the company's products and the number of new coming customers is continuing to increase.

Because the design matters maybe just as much as the durability and the quality of the product, Waterdrop designers are constantly working on new and flashy designs that catch the eye of potential new customers, but also existing ones who might want to give a reusable bottle away to a friend or family member.

With a presence in 15 countries around the world and over two million customers having used the reusable bottles already, Waterdrop is on the right path of achieving its sustainability goals.

Since one of Waterdrop's major objectives is reducing the plastic waste generated by the beverages industry, the company aims to make products with an ever-increasing positive impact on the environment.

"So far, we've been able to replace over 21.994.500 plastic bottles with our sustainable offerings", Katerina Navrátilová added.

But it's not just bottles that Waterdrop makes. As stated in the beginning, in order to help people better hydrate, the company also offers a series of microdrinks, which are additives that make the water taste better, while also improving on its properties by adding vitamins and minerals.

The water-dissolving cubes are made of natural ingredients, with fruits and plants extracts and the packaging is made from polypropylene, which was considered by the officials to be the best alternative. Katerina said that this is because the material "is easy to recycle, it doesn't release toxins and has a relatively low carbon footprint, while being safe for human health."

Furthermore, customers who want to be sustainable from one end to another can bring their existing packaging at Waterdrop's locations for recycling.

Waterdrop's products can be purchased both in-store, but also online, if you're not in one of the 15 countries where they're available physically. In Romania, the company's products are available online, but the company also plans to extend its presence through retailers.

The huge plastic waste issue our oceans face

While it's true that one plastic bottle won't destroy our environment, the problem is that there are many plastics in our oceans, too many in fact. Waterdrop CEE's CEO told Green Start-Up that there are some 171 trillion pieces of plastic in the world's oceans. She suggests that the only way we can stop this issue from snowballing further is to put an immediate halt to all plastic packaging that can reach our environment.

This is also because recently we wrote about the fact that plastic recycling isn't exactly effective, as people count too much on this and don't do enough to prevent and to reduce, which are two critical components of the circular economy.

The issue is so big, Katerina says, that by mid-century, the amount of plastic waste will outgrow the number of fish in our oceans. "Every minute, we're using some 1.2 million plastic water bottles around the world and only 9% of those are being recycled", she explained.

What can we do to stop this

As there are currently 150 tons of plastic waste in our oceans and we're adding anywhere between 5 and 12 tons per year, it's critical that we prevent further polluting materials from reaching these fragile ecosystems. Most plastic just floats on the surface, where it accumulates over time. The rest is being eaten by fish, which we may catch and consume ourselves, essentially infesting our own selves with dangerous chemicals. Once these chemicals reach our oceans' salt water, they decompose over time and the impact of the CO2 is disastrous, enhancing the global warming phenomenon.

By reducing the plastic waste that reaches our oceans by one ton, this is the equivalent of reducing the number of cars on the road by one million units and Katerina believes that it's not only up to individuals to take care of the problem, but also companies bear some of the responsibility.

By switching to sustainable alternatives for packaging and the materials that make a product and by reducing the amount of plastic in these, we can achieve results faster. For the plastic waste already in circulation, these must be recycled in a responsible way so that we can reduce the impact they have on the planet.

What's next for Waterfdrop

As per the CEO of Waterdrop CEE, the company now plans to maintain and strengthen its partnerships with the various NGOs out there, such as Plastic Bank, while looking for new organizations that want to join the fight against plastic waste. At the same time, Waterdrop looks forward to reaching more people and tell them about the benefits of drinking more water, while doing so in a sustainable way.