Water in aluminum bottles. Straw-less lids. Reusable cups. As plastic waste concerns grow, the search for sustainable packaging has gone mainstream.

Read the full story in the Chicago Tribune.

Nicole Doucet and Jess Page were met with skepticism when they first tried to persuade retailers to sell their brand of bottled water. Consumers, the young entrepreneurs were told during those early sales calls five years ago, would not pay more for water packaged in aluminum containers instead of plastic.

It turns out their Chicago-based startup, Open Water, was just a bit early to the party. Food and beverage companies that cater to on-the-go consumers are rethinking their packaging amid growing concern about single-use plastics clogging up swaths of ocean and killing sea life, with the likes of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo launching canned water as part of commitments to cut down on plastic usage and waste.

“It has gone very mainstream,” said Doucet, CEO of Open Water, which counts Hyatt hotels, salad chain Sweetgreen and Second City as customers.

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