How FRANK Water consigned plastic bottles to a watery grave

By Katie Alcott, Founder & CEO, FRANK Water

It’s been a big month here at FRANK Water. We have stopped selling our spring water in single-use plastic bottles and we have launched a new campaign to encourage everyone to carry refillable water bottles and coffee cups and to ‘pledge to refill’. We’re a small social enterprise and know that to make our pebble drop seem like a boulder splash, we need to encourage as many friends and supporters as possible to get on board to change the way we stay hydrated while on the move.

Since launching the campaign we have seen sales of refillable bottles increase and have been contacted by numerous new potential stockists and partners who want to support our work.

When I started selling bottled Devon spring water, from the back of my van, at festivals and events across the West Country in 2005, I never imagined that 12 years later FRANK Water would have changed the lives of over 330,000 people. Here in the UK we take safe, clean drinking water and access to sanitation for granted. In the parts of rural India and Nepal where we work with field partners to support communities to find sustainable ways to access safe, clean, fresh water, there isn’t the same embedded culture of sanitation and education around the importance of drinking and using safe water. It’s not unusual for women (and their children, specifically girls) to walk miles every day to fill buckets and pots with dirty water from unsafe water sources.

Here at FRANK Water we have a simple moto: safe water saves lives. Through tried and tested partnerships with cafes, restaurants and other food services we know we can help businesses be more sustainable, attract more customers and crucially help more people access clean water. As members of the SRA you know that businesses which stand for solving societal challenges outperform the rest of the market – in terms of market growth, meeting customer expectations and getting the most out of employees. Customers view responsible brands as trustworthy and they’re more willing to give money to the companies they trust. Put simply, being a purpose-driven business leads to commercial success.

Watershed in Bristol has been stocking and supporting FRANK Water for over 5 years. General manager James Taljaard says:

In response to FRANK Water’s admirable decision to stop selling water in single-use plastic bottles, we have switched our order to glass bottles. As a charitable organisation, situated on Bristol’s historic harbourside and committed to being as responsible and ethical as possible – in line with what our customers expect of us – we are pleased to be able to support this move to a more sustainable future for us all.”

FRANK Water will continue to sell artesian Devon spring water in glass bottles, which are made from 32% recycled glass and are 100% recyclable and we are increasing our efforts to offer refill solutions to as many food service outlets as possible. There are lots of ways to support FRANK Water and as a partner we will work with you to maximise the benefits of that support to your business.

  1. Sign up to support our Drink Me; Save Lives scheme, which asks customers for a nominal donation to FRANK in return for filtered water provided by you
  2. Give a small donation to FRANK Water for every sale of a chosen signature dish
  3. Stock FRANK Water’s own range of ethically sourced glass bottled spring water from Devon and ensure all profits fund safe drinking water for those that need it most
  4. Give a tax-efficient corporate donation to FRANK Water to fund a bespoke project in India
  5. Promote our new #PledgeToRefill campaign to customers and talk to us about opportunities to retail our refillable bottles
  6. Make it easy for people to refill – join Refill to offer free tap water refills to members of the public by adding your business to the Refill app

Your support really does make a difference to people’s lives. In India 77 million people are trapped in a cycle of poverty and disease for want of a safe, clean water supply of their own. India has the world’s highest number of people without access to clean water and as a result, in 2015, over 140,000 children died from diarrhoea cause by unsafe water and poor sanitation. For every £1 that is spent on water and sanitation, a community will see a benefit worth four times that amount in increased productivity. You can really make a difference to thousands of lives in India and Nepal by working with us here at FRANK Water.

If you would like to find out more about how your business can #PledgeToRefill and support the work of FRANK Water in India and Nepal, contact the team on 0117 329 4846 or email [email protected].


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