Here at the Eco Technology Show we invite our exhibitors and speakers to give our viewers a bit more information about their businesses and their backgrounds. Here we have an article written by Aquapax where they talk about the origins of their product.
Neil’s Story – Why Aquapax?
Neil was on holiday with his wife and family when the ‘first’ Asian tsunami footage appeared on our TV screens back on 26 December 2004. The powerful images made him feel both guilty and helpless – particularly when his considered plans to assist this ‘water based’ humanitarian crisis were vetoed within the corporate structure of his then employer.
This led him to work on a disposable portable water container suitable for long-term storage, with comprehensive integrity in terms of function and carbon footprint. This became a near obsession and developed ultimately into his mission of launching a premium consumer brand called AQUAPAX. “My strategy evolved, to swim up-stream when the ‘institutions’ of the world would not work with my unproven new business.” Says Neil.
“Aquapax is a wonderfully pure natural mineral water, sealed from light and air to stay fresh with a practically indefinite storage life. The water is sourced from deep beneath a protected nature park in Germany, where no commercial farming in the immediate area means Aquapax is incredibly pure.
For anyone who remembers their chemistry, it has a naturally low mineral balance with a near perfect 7.065pH and contains less than 0.3mg/l (parts per million) of nitrates making it suitable for infant consumption and people with virtually any type of diet restrictions. I sourced the water from Germany because of the purity of the source allied to their open minded attitude to my carton water idea. The ‘proof of the concept’ was that Aquapax won the internationally recognised QATRAH Award as ‘Best Bottled Water’ at its very first public outing. It is also the only UK bottled water declaring its suitability for infants.
If you look closely at an Aquapax water carton, this is what I hope you will see… Positioned at the base of the carton, is one of our registered trademarks ‘A PURE THIRST FOR THE ENVIRONMENT’® which forms the foundation of my brand – this is fundamentally why Aquapax exists. Above this sentence, I placed my signature between illustrations of waves to represent the beach from my childhood. I grew up in Durban, on the east coast of South Africa at a time when beaches weren’t places that plastic bottles washed up on.
Above my signature is a bird in flight. It’s not just any bird, it’s Jonathan Livingstone Seagull – a story written by Richard Bach about a seagull learning about life and flight that has inspired me to live the life I’ve chosen and to try not to take too many short cuts.
I’ve always loved trees and working with sustainable forest sources as a renewable material was the only true way I could think of to ensure the future of the world’s great forests. Look closely at the front of an Aquapax carton and you will see this clearly in the heart shaped light coming through the branches of ‘the tree of life’, with its roots running deep into the earth below.
Fanning out from behind the tree, you can see suns rays shining brightly – I wanted this image to be uplifting to signify positive hope rather than represent a negative castigation of the pretty labels on so many plastic bottle ‘competitors’.
Above the tree and the Aquapax logo, there are three birds migrating, which for me signifies the change in consumer awareness, represented by a migration which no-one tells birds to do - they simply know when the time is right and fly off. I can feel this movement among consumers leaning towards greater ecological awareness – it’s a slow migration but it’s real…
Finally, at the top of the carton is the statement ‘PURE WATER EVOLUTION’ – I know Aquapax is not yet perfect and we have bio-polymer caps and liners on trial as I type. Our water source is impeccable – which was my number one priority – and the other elements will follow, evolving the product and brand as all great products and brands have to ultimately do.
“Aquapax tastes like pure fresh natural water should with no taint or aftertaste; consider how fresh air has absolutely no smell at all and you’ll get it. As an environmentalist, the carbon footprint of an Aquapax carton is less than half that of a single-use plastic bottle and the empty cartons can be safely re-filled for reuse by the original owner before recycling. More compelling for me is if people would only consider how it takes more water to produce a plastic water bottle than the bottle is physically capable of holding. That in a country where the tap water is perfectly adequate drives me on through the dark times!”
Aquapax is currently available across the UK and Ireland via quality independent wholesalers like Infinity Foods, Cotswold Fayre, Complete Sports Nutrition and Aqua Amore. It’s sold online directly through the company website or via amazon.com, winnaturally.com and hollandandbarrett.com (please read some of the genuine customer reviews) while it’s available in the high street through selected London Waitrose stores, Holland and Barrett, Selfridges, Fortnum and Mason and many other good independent retailers, cafs, farm and whole foods shops, boutique hotels, sports gyms, spa salons and yoga studios across the UK, France and further afield.
“Aquapax is one of the best products no-one’s ever heard of” says Neil and he’s planning to rectify that later this year through a crowd funding exercise to generate the funds for a more comprehensive PR campaign.
AQUAPAX began with a strong ethics led foundation as a revolution against the cheap, yet ecologically costly status quo of the bottled water industry. Our call to action is ‘Ditch the plastic’ and who knows where this call will lead?