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Newly available at southern California Whole Foods Markets, Y Water vitamin-fortified bottled waters are designed for small hands, growing bodies and inquisitive minds. Everything from the messaging included with the symmetrical 9-oz bottles to their shape, dimensions and reuse functions are designed for children.

Y Water founder Thomas Arndt hired renowned designer Yves Béhar from Fuseproject ( to design the bottle. Béhar, a parent himself, was inspired by two questions children commonly ask: “Why?” and “Why not?”

Béhar visually represented the question, “Why?” with the bottle shape, which is an upside-down letter Y. The question, “Why not” inspired him to create a “Y Knot” connector that would allow children to connect empty bottles together, thus giving the water bottles a second life as a toy.

While the design is clever, it is so far out of the box that many bottle makers considered the design virtually impossible to craft. At least, in polyethylene terephthalate (PET), that is.

PET is a commonly used, easily recycled bottle material, and it was the material of choice for both Arndt and Béhar until Bekum America Corp. ( national sales director Gary Carr opened their eyes to new possibilities.“Bekum's Gary Carr introduced me to Eastman ( and their Eastar™EBO62 [copolyester resin], which finally enabled us to make our design happen,” Arndt explains. Not only was Eastman's copolyester resin compatible with the bottle design, it also would produce a bottle tough enough to withstand rough handling for the bottles' secondary use as a building toy.

According to Arndt, the tough plastic primarily is used in the medical industry and is a safe packaging material. “As part of the polyester/copolyester family of plastics, Eastman's Eastar EB062 is a Bisphenol A [BPA]-free material,” says Arndt. “The polyester family is considered the most environmentally responsible of all plastics because they can be recycled easily as well as reground and used for other purposes,” he adds.

Y Water currently comes in four formulations: Bone Water is enriched with calcium, fluoride and vitamins A, C and D; Brain Water has zinc, molybdenum and vitamins B6, B12 and C; Muscle Water features magnesium, potassium and selenium as well as vitamin A and C; and Immune Water has antioxidants and vitamins A, C and E.

“Unlike the usual saccharine 'fruit' flavors marketed to children,” says Arndt, “Y Water is available in exotic flavor combinations.” He contends that the flavors have passed particularly difficult market testing from his own grade-school-age sons, who don't drink plain water.

More information is available:
Eastman Chemical Co., 423/229-2000.
Bekum America Corp., 517/655-4331 .
Fuseproject, Inc., 415/908-1492.

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