Apr 24, 2013

KOR Sends 'Message in a Bottle' to 'Free Water'

Campaign urges consumers to "liberate water from 30 years of bondage"

KOR Free Water Campaign Bottled Water Earth Day

In recognition of Earth Day, KOR Water launched a campaign to end bottled water wastefulness. Seeking to create a grassroots movement, the company is calling on people everywhere to "Free Water" from the "bondage" of plastic bottles. "Water has been literally and figuratively imprisoned by an industry that never should have existed, and we believe people are ready for change," said KOR CEO Eric Barnes.

According to industry statistics, Americans now spend more than $20 billion annually on bottled water, while discarding more than 50 billion bottles. KOR argues that this is a recent phenomenon, which can be reversed. "Thirty years ago, the sight of people drinking continuously from plastic bottles — let alone those shipped from Fiji — would have seemed bizarre. Fast forward to today and we barely bat an eye," said KOR President Paul Shustak.

Drawing on liberation movements throughout history, the company intends Free Water to become a rallying cry that unites people around the idea that access to water always has been — and should be — a basic human right. Starting on Earth Day, KOR challenged individuals to show their support for this idea as follows: 

  • On Facebook, by using the official Free Water profile and cover images;
  • Showing the world how they "Free Water" by using the hashtag #freewater for posts made on Twitter, Instagram, Vine and other social media platforms; and
  • Committing to 30 days without drinking bottled water.

The campaign also seeks to educate consumers about the alternatives to bottled water, including filtration systems, drinking fountains and reusable bottles. To further this aim, KOR is making available a variety of digital assets for all industry participants to use. According to Shustak, "With its obscene profits, the bottled water industry has spent billions brainwashing us into thinking that their product is the only safe source of water. Free Water gives stakeholders in the sustainable hydration ecosystem a way to pool their resources to combat this perception."