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🚀 "The Future of Water, Plastic, and Planet Earth"

Build The Future

Photo by NASA / Unsplash

Table of Contents

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Host: Cameron Wiese
Guests: Samuel Ian Rosen aka Captain Planet, Founder & CEO Tap
Category: Biz & Tech | 🚀 Startups

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[1:40] “The vision of Tap is to connect water to the Internet. Water is our most valuable resource and it’s completely mispriced, it’s wasted, we don’t know what’s in it and frankly we don’t even know where it is. And I figured that out for myself when I searched on Google Maps for water fountains a couple of years ago and I couldn’t find a search result […]. I realized there was something not right about one of our most basic systems […] - the ability to find and drink clean water.”

[2:19] “Tap’s mission is really to democratize access to clean drinking water and in the process of that eliminat[ing] the need for packaging it up in single use plastic bottles by connecting water to the Internet and creating a marketplace for tap water.”

[3:58] “The paradox is best seen at the airport, where you can buy a 4 or 5 dollar bottle of water in a plastic [container] that lasts for 450 years and only 10% of [them] get recycled or you can go to the water fountain and fill up for “free“. And I believe that’s a bad thing. And the reason is because there is no economic incentive then to maintain that water fountain, to build new ones, to change filters - it’s seen as an economic cost.”

[4:45] “What Tap does is create software for two sides of the marketplace - people who consume water and hardware companies or organizations or facilities […] that dispense water. Every water fountain has an owner […], someone built that station, […], they pay for maintenance on that station, […] they pay for parts and service […], but they get no economic benefit back. The reason why is that people believe water is a human right. And I agree with that, 100%. A very contrarian point of view […] [is] that water [is] a human right and it can have a price. […] If water is more than non zero […] - let’s say you go to a water fountain and you pay 5, 10, 15, 25 cents for water to be dispensed, what would that mean for the actual infrastructure. […] The other side of that marketplace of the dispensers, is the refillers. People pay for water at their house and these are usually with monopoly companies that get regulated, […] that are utilities.”

[6:50] “Climate change is water change.”

[7:47] “What Tap has built is a few […] digital products […]. The first is a search engine. Someone can go to push a button and it shows a compass of the nearest water station. […] [Then] I created an operating system for the dispenser and an operating system for the bottle. […] The operating system for the bottle […] is for […] consumers, refillers, who have their bottle. [It’s a QR] code […], a sticker, will soon be an NFC chip, and when tapping my phone […] to that bottle, I can instantly log my hydration […], I can find the nearest water station and it starts to give you statistics about things like how many plastic bottles I have saved personally.”

[9:52] “On the dispenser side, the operating system does a few things. So if you go up to that water fountain at an airport it has a few features. One, is it a push button […] or is it a sensor - important in a post COVID world. Does it have a water filtration system and is it a green filter status, yellow or red. […] And also […] those […] plastic bottles saved icons […], that entire system is offline. So what I realized is that with nothing more than a QR sticker and software, we can activate a webpage for that station. Think of all those […] like a Wikipedia for water. Each one of the 267,000 stations that we have currently logged around the world has its own webpage. The data shows who scanned that QR code and updated it last, […] who left a review […]. What we are now building is the ability to make a payment. […] You allow someone to buy their refill voluntarily. […] If they gift 25 cents, we will give 70% of that to the station owner, Tap for the software and the marketplace will take 20% and 10% will go back to refillers […] to get some type of reward back […], [by entering into a sweepstakes].”

[16:14] “Reinventing the tap water system and making the tap system better and less expensive than bottled water is the way to win. It’s not about eliminating plastic bottles, because what it’s gonna do is, it’s gonna turn people to let’s say soda.”

[19:58] “60% of bottled water is actually consumed at home. […] And the reason why single use plastic bottles are so much drunk at home is because, and it disproportionally affects communities of color and lower socio-economic statuses, the water is not good. [People] don’t trust it. […] So when people in mass are drinking bottled water at home, it means there is something more systemic that is wrong about our tap water system.”

[21:41] “Being able to go to a website before [you] move into a new home and see what the water quality was in that home by typing in an address, that doesn’t seamlessly exist today. To look on a Hotel Tonight application and see that this Holiday Inn in Flint, Michigan has a Flo Water machine and that […] removes lead, I can trust that the drinking water there, means that people will start going to Flint, Michigan and staying in the Holiday Inn again. And that starts to bring an economy. […] Tap will democratize access to the information about water itself […].

[25:55] “When I think of Tap, I think of all water. I don’t care if it’s in a toilet, in a sink, in a shower, in a stream, in a lake, in an ocean. Because what people fail to realize is, we don’t create […] more water on this planet. The water that you drink was dinosaur pee. […] So, the problem that America has in a way is almost worse than Africa or India, who is delivering clean water through a water ATM system, because those countries will leapfrog rebuilding the system with the new technologies that are coming online […]. The primary driver on the hardware side will be an invention called Atmospheric Water Generator. […] That device […] where you can plug in an appliance into the wall and it has a fan that filters the air that creates water out of thin air.”

[39:02] “Why do I go by the name […] Captain Planet? Captain Planet is a superhero in a comic series, when I was a child, produced by Ted Turner, who is a very well known environmentalist […]. The comic was very inspirational to me and the primary reason why […] [is] Captain Planet’s tagline is The power is yours. […] It’s not going to be one woman or one man alone who saves planet earth. […] It’s going to be all of us.”

Rating: 🍎🍎🍎🍎

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify
🕰️ 46 min | 🗓️ 02/09/2021
✅ Time saved: 42 min