Water purification and beverage leader Bluewater announces 2023 will be the year it radically widens its product portfolio to help break the stranglehold of polluting single-use plastic bottles, on the eve of World Water Day. The company urges world governments to accelerate efforts to address the global water crisis and, specifically, halt the sale of single-use plastic bottles scarring our oceans and rivers.
The sizeable basement beneath the Stockholm townhouse office of Bluewater, the global Swedish water purification and beverage company shaping sustainable hydration’s future, has been repurposed as the company’s innovation laboratory. And it’s chockablock with shiny new equipment, half-finished purifier prototypes, snaking pipes, computers, filters, faucets of every shape, as well as several large hyper-durable travel cases, some seriously battered.
“The used cases contain Bluewater’s radically new Sumo™ water filtration system and have just successfully finished a tour of duty in ultimate field testing by Ukrainian armed forces in battlefield conditions,” explains Bluewater founder and CEO Bengt Rittri. He notes the emergency water delivery systems will be launched initially in April to first responder agencies where access to emergency supplies of clean water are vital, whether by fire fighters tackling forest blazes, humanitarian organisations responding to natural disasters such as earthquakes, or establishing a military field hospital in a remote location.
Rittri explained the highly mobile and rugged Sumo™ system, which packs down into two suitcases, is designed to work off the grid and can hydrate up to 6,000 people daily, using fuel- or solar-powered generators for power when regular electrical supplies are unavailable.
Harnessing the third-generation Sumo™ reverse osmosis solution developed by Bluewater in the innovation laboratory, the system can utilize and clean practically any available water source, municipal or natural such as a lake or river, and within minutes deliver purified water.
The mobile water purifier equipment is just one of a number of game-changing innovations emerging from the ideas powerhouse of Bluewater and its cellar lab as the company strives to change how we access clean water on demand in a climate change world where its quality cannot be taken for granted.
For example, in a ground-breaking Middle East initiative, Bluewater is launching a unique all-in-one micro water purification, remineralizing, bottling, washing, capping, and delivery system for hotels and other hospitality customers in Dubai, which will help them end their need for single-use plastic bottles.
Globally, the last three years have also seen Bluewater emerge as a cutting-edge supplier of water dispensers and sustainable bottle solutions to major sporting and other events and venues seeking to reduce their use of throwaway plastic water bottles, including the British Open, Formula E, the Cape Town Marathon, and The Ocean Race. Bluewater’s event solutions, geared to disrupt an industry that has long depended on sales of plastic bottles of water to fan, include multi-dispenser ‘walls of water’ equipped with digital signage screens.
The company is also on the verge of announcing a successful trailblazing entry into rainwater harvesting with the completion in April of an exciting water dispenser solution in the UK for use in electric vehicle recharging environments.
“I’m an optimist who believes in harnessing human ingenuity to tackle the multiple environmental challenges the world faces,” says Rittri, a Swedish environmental entrepreneur who two decades ago revolutionized the way the world cleaned indoor air under threat from unfettered air pollution from traffic and industrial and other emissions. After selling his air company, Blueair, to Unilever in 2016, Mr. Rittri turned his energy to solving water quality problems and the issue of microplastic pollution resulting from the tsunami of single-use plastic bottles.
“Putting sustainability at the heart of our business mission from when we launched in 2013 meant we didn’t just focus on merely cleaning water for use at home, work and play,” Rittri continued. “We’re tapping into more of a creative, conceptual approach that I prefer to call ‘social water,’ which is about changing attitudes and the way we access and use water for drinking and washing.”
He added: “Being change-makers demands we must constantly think out of the box. That’s a mission that has led us to innovate water dispensing technology and mineral and vitamin-enhanced beverages that can be generated, dispensed, and bottled at source, thereby avoiding unnecessary transportations that contribute to air pollution.”
To fulfill its bigger sustainability mission, Bluewater recruits scientists and engineers from around the world and taps into Stockholm’s world-class Royal Institute of Technology talent pool. Rittri says innovation, scale, infrastructure, and flexibility are crucial to Bluewater’s ability to deliver the changes he wants to see in managing hydration better in the years ahead to alleviate the damage already done to the planet, where micro-plastics and hazardous chemicals pose a still-growing threat to human and planetary health.
“We live in a world where it is not business as usual with dysfunction across the entire water cycle threatening health, jobs, and business growth,” says Rittri. “If we want Bluewater to be the future of water and hydration in a world where 2 billion people currently lack access to safe drinking water while the UN warns water demand may exceed supply by 40 percent by 2030, we must offer practical solutions that help governments, local authorities, businesses, and consumers accelerate their collective and individual efforts to solve growing planet-wide water crisis and halt the production, transport, and use of single-use plastic bottles.”