According to the most recent statistics from the International Bottled Water Association, an organization that 100% exists, Americans drink more bottled water than any other beverage. In 2017, we all downed an average of 42 gallons of it, compared to just over 37 gallons of soda. And although the IBWA and subscribers to its exciting bimonthly magazine are probably delighted by those numbers—and unconcerned by the fact that we're still drinking most of it from single-serving plastic containers—the rest of us have started to realize that we need to cut that shit out.
In the past few months, some newly launched water companies have tried alternate forms of packaging, with varying results. Ounce decided to put its own water in what looked like 40-ounce malt liquor bottles, and it received a warm "fuck you very much" from communities that were trying to recover from their own problems with, you know, malt liquor in malt liquor bottles. And Liquid Death opted for cans, while trying to convince everyone that staying hydrated was the last true act of defiance. (The brand's tagline is "Murder Your Thirst," and your nephew thinks that's dope.)
But a newly launched Kickstarter product has decided that we need to ditch the packaging entirely, and just purify our own water in our own kitchens. And doing that costs a mere 350 bucks.
The Purilan X-Series Kitchen Appliance promises "purified, flavored, and functional water," with the touch of a button. Or rather with the touch of a couple of buttons, while you figure out whether you want water-water, or flavored water, or functional water, or a combination of all three.
Regardless, Purilan doesn't just dispense water: You can get water from a battered Brita pitcher, or a faucet, or out of a goddamn rain barrel. No, this is LIFESTYLE WATER, and if you didn't sit straight up in your chair out of a combination of dehydration and wide-eyed interest right now, then press Purilan's touchscreen and see if it can yeet you straight into the sun.
"The price point has been a topic of discussion for us, and we are aware that $250 to $350 is no small amount, but the cost over time compared to purchasing cases of bottled water is less on your wallet, and on our planet," Purilan's Chief Marketing Officer Mario Carreras told VICE in an email. "Comparing our cost with some of the other water purification systems on the market currently, we believe that $250 to $350 is a good base for our system considering the added value of a precision dosing system that can add your desired concentration of flavors or functional enhancers to your water."
So that's pretty much what you're paying for: the ability to buy a $25 cartridge to add a hint of flavor to a glass of water without having to squeeze one of those MiO pods (MSRP: $3.99) into it, or tearing open some kind of powdered packet, or buying… some fruit, maybe? But Carreras says that Purilan will also involve a second "functional cartridge" to add electrolytes, caffeine, melatonin, or vitamins to the water. According to Purilan's Kickstarter, each $25 cartridge is expected to last a month.
"Purilan is focusing on reaching health conscious, active individuals who want a more sustainable way to stay properly hydrated throughout their day," Carreras said. "From business professionals to student athletes, we believe that there are a wide range of use cases for our system and one of our biggest goals in creating Purilan was to give our users the power to easily incorporate our system into their lives."
If Purilan reaches its $10,000 goal (as of this writing, it's surpassed that goal by $322), backers who will supposedly receive their discounted $299 systems by November 2020. Hopefully they can make use of an alternate source of functional lifestyle water between now and then.