Consider these facts: The U.S. consumes 60% of all bottled water in the world—amounting to about 30 billion bottles a year–and right now there are two million tons of empty water bottles in U.S. landfills. Three liters of water are used in the production cycle of a one-liter bottle of water, according to some estimates. And  every square mile of the ocean has over 46,000 pieces of floating plastic in it.


That’s how Stephen Reed felt when he saw the litter of empty bottles in his car—and what drove the entrepreneur to start TreeCloud, a boxed water company based in Gibsonia,PA.

Reed, who was on the launch team of start-up StatEasy, founded TreeCloud “not to berate” those who drink bottled water but to provide a better option.

While many agree that the most ideal alternative is to “take back the tap” as Food and Water Watch puts it, using more sustainable packaging is a better alternative to plastic.

“Up to 87% of plastic water bottles do not get recycled properly,” Stephen says. “TreeCloud will launch a product with 75% less plastic in the cartons and with other material that is made from renewable resources.”

TreeCloud’s line of boxed water will also be fully compostable, which is preferable to plastic water bottles that take over 1,000 years to biodegrade.

Additionally, the packaging will be BPA-free, giving consumers an alternative that does not contain the chemical BPA, an endocrine disruptor that may cause possible health effects.

The company is targeted to launch a pilot run in the spring.

Leah Lizarondo is a food advocate, writer and speaker. She is also the co-founder of 412 Food Rescue, an organization that seeks to eliminate food waste to make an impact on hunger and the environment. She is the Chief Veghacker, recipe creator and curator at The Brazen Kitchen, where she writes about food and food policy. She writes about the intersection of food, health, innovation and policy.