Only 14% of plastic water bottles are recycled, and Americans add 30 million PET water bottles to landfills every day! Aiming to provide an alternative to this alarming trend, Michigan-based Boxed Water Is Better is filling FSC-certified Tetra Pak boxes with Minnesota water and in doing so, giving us a new way to tote H20. But is boxed water truly the best option, or are there more ecologically-sound alternatives at hand?

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While most plastic bottles are made from PET (Polyethylene terephthalate), a material that is contains recycled content, the PET manufacturing process creates more waste than paper and emits 3 times more carbon dioxide. What’s more, 2 pallets or 5% of a truckload of broken down water boxes would equal 5 truckloads of leftover plastic bottles, which makes the boxed water more efficient to transport.

Boxed Water is Better launched in on March 13, 2009 and is currently only available in Michigan. However, the company plans to expand, and as it grows — the company will donate 20% of profits to world water relief foundations and reforestation organizations.

While we’re all for more sustainable shipping materials and fsc-certified packaging, the concept of boxed water strikes us as a small step rather than a shift in paradigm – wouldn’t it be better to eliminate the packaging completely and tote around a reusable bottle instead? Boxed water may be better than plastic bottles, but the ecological integrity of packaging and shipping water great distances is a pretty hard pill to swallow.