So, it turns out that maybe all those plastic bottles you’ve thrown into the recycle bin to be, you know, recycled…. aren’t. America is facing a recycling crisis and one easy way to help is to not buy that plastic bottle of water at all.
That’s part of the pitch LANG Switzerland is making today with the official launch of its eponymous countertop drink system that creates filtered mineral water as well as flavored drinks — sans single-use bottle.
First, the LANG uses a triple filtration system that includes a 1-micron sediment filter, an activated carbon filter and a reverse osmosis filter. Once filtered, the company’s removable LANGPAKS add salts and minerals like potassium, calcium and magnesium back into the water. Additional LANGPAKS can add flavor like lemon to your water, or make hot black or green tea. The company says the LANG will create a drink in less than four minutes.
Plastic is certainly top of mind for a lot of people and companies around the world right now as people wake up to the fact that single-use plastic waste is huge problem. Cities are banning plastic straws, plastic-free grocery stores are popping up, and corporate giants like Nestlé and Unilever are experimenting with reusable containers for their products. So LANG is certainly striking while the ethical iron is hot.
But LANG isn’t the only company in the bottleless, countertop mineral water device game. Mitte, also based in Europe, has its own machine, though it only filters and re-mineralizes water (no fruity flavors), and won’t be shipping until June of this year. Additionally, Mitte has been open about its plans to move beyond the countertop and integrating its technology into existing appliances like fridges or faucet systems.
The LANG, however, is shipping now, and the device itself will set you back €499 (~$566 USD). LANGPAKS will cost anywhere from €19.95 (~$22.65 USD) to €24.95 (~$28.33 USD). The mineral LANGPAKS will create 250 liters of mineral water, while the flavor packs will deliver 300 cups. The filters will last two years, according to the company, and the machine is self-cleaning.
Anecdotally, here at The Spoon, we aren’t sure how much demand there is for a machine that just mineralizes water. But it might be more telling that both LANG and Mitte are based in Europe, where such a device could be more welcome.
Sure, you still have to clean the cups and glasses you use, but that’s better than buying a one-time plastic bottle that winds up never getting recycled.