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Liquid Death's recyclable packaging provides an alternative to bottled water: 'I didn't think it would be this big'

"At the end of the day, we're really creating an entertainment company and a water company."

"At the end of the day, we’re really creating an entertainment company and a water company."

Photo Credit: iStock

In a lineup of packaged waters, Liquid Death stands out like a raven in a flock of pigeons.

Instead of a plastic bottle, this brand of water comes in a virtually infinitely recyclable aluminum can. Under the name in gothic script is a golden logo of a melting skull, plus the tagline "Murder your thirst."

The heavy metal-inspired look is just as unique as the company's mission: to be the most punk packaged water brand available while encouraging people to hydrate and protect the environment, as The New Yorker reported.

Liquid Death's recyclable packaging
Photo Credit: Liquid Death

Bottled water is clearly bad from an environmental perspective. It generates tons of plastic waste that almost never gets recycled, when a reusable water bottle, which is always the best option, could do the same job.

Sometimes a packaged bottle of water is helpful to have available even for the staunchest adherents of reusable bottles, though, and by packaging its water in cans that are almost entirely comprised of aluminum, Liquid Death solves the recycling problem. The aluminum cans can be melted down and reused for new cans as many times as the manufacturer wants, as The New Yorker detailed. And while the recycling process for all materials, aluminum included, does create some pollution, the EPA says the process takes less than 5% as much energy as producing a new can, saving "enough energy to run ... a computer for 3 hours."

Entrepreneur Mike Cessario came up with both the company's business model and its branding. "Everything metal and punk is extreme," he told The New Yorker. "Being vegan is extreme. Protesting the deforestation is extreme."

According to an article by Sean Michael Lewis on Medium, Liquid Death's punk aesthetic is set to shake up both the bottled water market and branding in general. The contrast of a simple, pure product like water and the edgy appearance of the packaging is a real attention-getter, and the more eco-conscious approach appeals to a growing portion of buyers.

That explains why, as of late August, Liquid Death was valued at $700 million, as mentioned in the Medium post.

"I didn't think it would be this big," Cessario told CNBC. "I think one of the most surprising things to everybody with this was how wide the audience really was."

But as it turns out, lots of people wanted a punk water besides just the musicians and fans Cessario initially imagined.

"At the end of the day, we're really creating an entertainment company and a water company," he said. "We want to actually entertain people [and] make them laugh in service of a brand. And if you can do that, they're going to love your brand because you're giving them something of value."

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