Miami-based spirits conglomerate Toast Distillers, Inc., known for its ultra-premium vodka, is raising a glass of a different sort—new Toast H2O alkaline-purified water in a label-less PET bottle that simplifies recycling. Dubbed “the healthy water,” Toast H2O is treated with reverse-osmosis, UV light, ozone, carbon filter, multimedia filter, and microfiltration, and is produced by Toast Distillers’ subsidiary, The Miami Distilling Company.
According to Dieuveny “DJ” Jean Louis, founder and CEO of Toast Distillers, Inc., Toast H2O was added to the company’s spirits-only portfolio so that it could share its products with many more customers, “even the smallest in the house.” He adds, “Water is an essential liquid for life, and today more than ever, the motto of our company supports it: ‘TO LIVE, TO LOVE, TO US.’”
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The decision to go label-less, using a screen-printing process for decoration instead, was made in an effort to maintain the elegance of the bottle, but more importantly, to facilitate recycling. “Most plastic bottles are made from polyethylene, the easiest plastic to recycle in the industry; most adhesive labels are made from polypropylene. Although the two materials are plastic, they have different recycling processes, which means that in order to recycle a bottle, the label must be removed,” says Louis. “Can you imagine how many bottles of water of this type are consumed in the world? Removing the label is usually done manually. Normally this plastic is sent to other countries with a slightly cheaper labor cost but with poor production controls, so guaranteeing the recycling process is complicated.
“We are aware of the situation that exists worldwide with plastic, and we deeply believe that the solution to this problem is to teach customers and develop methods to facilitate recycling processes.”
The sleek, 16.9-oz, clear wine-bottle shaped package uses minimal decoration, with the logo positioned in black type vertically up the front panel of the bottle. It is topped with a matching black cap. The bottle is produced and printed by Savani Water of Medley, Fla.
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Says Savani Water Director Guillermo Castro, Savani is currently the only water bottle factory capable of printing its own PET bottles on a high-speed, automatic machine on-site. “Normally this type of printing is expensive,” he shares, “but Savani Water, after overcoming several obstacles, found a way to do it with high quality and at a competitive price. One of the main challenges is that the bottle must be quite hard, however today we can say that we are in the standard weight of the high-end brands in the market.”
Savani blow molds bottles in-house and can customize the shape, depending on customer requirements. The bottles are then decorated with an automatic screen-printing machine. Explains Castro, the bottle enters the printer in on a horizontal conveyor. A line of pistons then transports the bottle to the center of the machine, where it is printed, and then the ink is sealed with ultraviolet light. “The process happens in seconds, and the bottle is ready to fill,” he notes.
The cost of the bottle at the material level is similar to that of a normal water bottle. “Basically the difference is in the work behind each bottle, since the lines must operate separately for blowing, printing, and filling,” Castro explains. “However, we continue to bet on the future of this industry, and do our bit to solve the current recycling problem. If we don’t take a different stance and raise awareness, the damage could be irreversible.”
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Toast H20 alkaline purified water is available for purchase in cases of 24 at $0.98 per bottle, or $23.52 per case. Toast Distillers is working to have the product distributed through its existing relationships with liquor stores, distributors, restaurants, and more. Announcements regarding additional purchasing options and availability are forthcoming.