A Refillable Water Filter Made in the UK

by Paul McTaggart

At Phox, we've spent a lot of time thinking about how to make filtering water more sustainable. Now more than ever, the world needs sustainable solutions to everyday products that incur avoidable waste as part of their standard use.

Since the turn of the century, single-use plastic has seeped in to nearly every product imaginable. It's only in the last few years that the issue has become of mainstream interest to the point where it is now, rightly, considered needless and dangerous.

Media coverage of the plastic crisis has catapulted reusable water bottles into the hands of millennials and transformed everything from the mundane of the cotton bud to the popular plastic straw. Metal and paper replacements for these everyday items are gradually starting to usurp the need for the single-use, disposable versions.

When it comes to water filtration, single-use cartridges have been the order of the day for decades. Yes, recycling schemes have been in place for some time but how good are return rates and after all, that doesn't prevent more virgin plastic cartridges from being produced everyday.

With our new V2 filter, we wanted to bring you a filter that had as little waste as possible.

Here are 5 ways we've been able to do that:

1. One Refillable Cartridge for All Cycles

The biggest factor in reducing the waste associated with traditional water filters is our refillable cartridge. In researching water filter waste, we found that millions of single-use cartridges end up in landfill every year. That's a huge amount of waste which is ultimately unnecessary.

With a Phox V2, you have one cartridge to last every 45-day cycle for as long as you use the product. It never needs thrown out or taken to a supermarket to be sent on to a recycling centre. Just wash and refill :)

Zero Waste Water Filter

2. Recyclable & Compostable Packaging

A massive part of the disposable economy that has rocketed in recent years is packaging waste. The growth in online shopping has resulted in bubble wrap, polystyrene and plastic void fill finding its way into every home delivery.

With the Phox V2, all of our packaging is either recyclable or compostable. The jug box in made up entirely of cardboard, we've put a great level of detail into the insert which holds and protects the jug so that there was no need for any single-use packaging or extra protection materials. Both the box itself and the insert are made from recycled cardboard.

With the refill boxes, the outer box is also made from recycled cardboard. And inside you'll find two 45-day refill sachets which are made of biodegradable paper.

Zero Waste Water Filter

3. Letterbox Delivery

With no chunky plastic cartridge to be delivered after each cycle, our refills can be posted through your letterbox.

This means you don't have to be home for deliveries meaning you'll never miss one. No second delivery attempts or awkward trips to your neighbours.

A 2009 study into the impact of missed deliveries suggested: 'In the worst case scenario, after two failed delivery attempts, a home shopper may generate 8,300g CO2 by making a car-based journey of 40km to a local depot.'

Zero Waste Water Filter

4. Tackling Water Filter CO2

Every product has a carbon footprint. The impact of making arefillable water filterisn't limited to the product itself.

With traditional water filters, the footprint might be bigger than you think. Lots of CO2 is produced every year in the production of traditional water filter cartridges.

Millions of virgin plastic cartridges made each month, are then shipped around the world to be delivered to people's homes.

If the first delivery is missed, the courier has to call again the next day.

At the end of the cycle, the people have to drive them back to the nearest supermarket which participates in the recycling scheme.

With a Phox V2 featuring a refillable cartridge, you can emit less CO2 than if Phox made an equivalent product with a disposable cartridge. No new plastic cartridges, no second delivery attempts and no trips to the recycling point.

Zero Waste Water Filter

5. Regenerated Media

I can hear you asking the final question - what happens to the used filter media after each cycle?

The good news is that we are working on putting in place a scheme so you can return your expired media for us to regenerate. No drives to the supermarket, just pop your return envelope in your nearest post box and we'll take care of the regenerating the media! With these changes we hope reduce the waste associated of filtering water even further!

Zero Waste Water Filter