We’ve all seen the slogans, plastered across what are reminiscent of oversized grade school milk cartons. So I have to ask, as I’m sure many of you have — is it really better? As it turns out, the answer is a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no, and can be answered regarding two different areas — taste and environmental concern.
The first thought that occurred to me is if boxing water could somehow magically change the taste of refreshing nothing-ness we all know and love for the better. Unfortunately, the answer is no. The mere fact that it now comes in tall boxes only changes the taste in so far as it’s actually slightly worsened it. If left unrefrigerated and drunk at room temperature, you can all but ignore the difference in taste.
In reference to the environment, it can’t be argued that cardboard breaks down easier than the far more popular plastic bottles we’re used to. While cardboard is naturally biodegradable, plastic must go through a long and rigorous process in order to be recycled, and on its own takes years (approximately 450) to degrade. The difference in impact on the environment then is obvious, and it seems almost selfish to put taste over the needs of the environment. As always however, the decision is left up to those doing the buying; so whether you value the taste or the world is up to you. Personally, I’ll skip the middle man and stick with my thermos that I can keep with me, theoretically, forever.