Rich “Raz” Razgaitis is on a mission to get water out of plastic, and plastic out of water. As co-founder and CEO of FloWater, which aims to reduce and ultimately end our dependence on single-use plastic water bottles, Raz has become an impassioned advocate for public health and environmental sanity. His message: bottled water is the new cigarette. As in, it’s killing us. Huh? How is that possible?
Turns out that the billions of plastic bottles we consume every year don’t biodegrade; they “photo-degrade” in our landfills and oceans, and the tiny microparticles of plastic end up in our water, our food, and ourselves.
The irony is, bottled water became popular because of fears of polluted tap water. But the bottles themselves end up polluting our tap water, in ways that antiquated municipal filtration systems can’t handle.
Just like second-hand smoke harms non-smokers, second-hand plastic in our environment affects everyone, not just those who drink out of disposable plastic bottles.
And it disproportionately impacts the poor and vulnerable (think Flint, Michigan, and many other lesser-known places) who can’t afford personal filtration at their homes.
In our conversation, Rich lays out the problem and offers suggestions for how as individuals and society we can reverse this alarming trend.