Good Water and Good Plastic?

Case Solution

Stephen Bowden, Kate Kearins, Eva Collins, Helen Tregidga
North American Case Research Association (NACRA) ()

In June 2010, New Zealand eco-renovator Grant Hall had to make some tough decisions about the future of his Good Water business. He founded the company with the vision of selling bottled water made from local biomass, separating, recycling and turning waste from used bottles into plant containers. These would biodegrade to support new plant life and ultimately local biomass for increased water bottle production. Several key partners had joined in the broader Good Water Project to develop a revolutionary, square, plant-based, biodegradable PLA plastic bottle. This included an environmental foundation, Sir Peter Blake Trust, to which Good Water donated a small percentage of the sales of each bottle. Good Water Company, which sold water in these bottles, had started to make a small profit. Grant believed that a tenfold increase in PLA bottle sales would result in PLA accounting for the required 34% of recycled plastic bottles. That level would mean PLA is likely to segregate into the waste stream in New Zealand and make your vision a reality. Grant had convinced a competitor to take over the PLA bottle, but overall the PLA volume was still too small. Grant had also just learned that Good Water Company’s own sales volume did not justify a shelf preference with a major supermarket chain, and he knew that the company did not have the capitalization to make further investments in the US-dominated bottled water industry. two great players. He had called a meeting of his employees to discuss how his environmental vision can be reconciled with a viable business model.

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