Mind the Tech NYC
By 2050, There Will Be More Plastic in the Ocean Than Fish, Says Sustainable Water CEO
Ira Laufer is the CEO of Just Goods, a sustainable packaged water company owned by Hollywood star Will Smith and his 19-year-old son Jaden Smith
According to Israeli-born food entrepreneur Ira Laufer, by 2050 there will be more plastic floating in the world’s oceans than there will be fish. Mr. Laufer spoke on Tuesday at the Mind the Tech conference in New York, hosted by Calcalist in collaboration with Bank Leumi and the Israeli Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage.
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Mr. Laufer is the CEO of Just Goods Inc., a bottled water company owned by Hollywood star Will Smith and his 19-year-old son Jaden Smith. Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Glens Falls, New York, Just Goods' flagship product is JUST Water, natural spring water sold in reduced-emissions bottles made from renewable plant resources.
Mr. Laufer joined Just Goods in May 2017. Before joining, Mr. Laufer said he was skeptical. “I didn’t think that the world needed another bottled water brand,” he said. “But I found an amazing company founded by an eleven-year-old kid who wanted to change the world.”
According to Mr. Laufer, approximately one million plastic bottles are sold around the world each minute, and 91% of these bottles never get recycled. “We are trying to change consumer behavior, making it more sustainable,” Mr. Laufer said.
According to Mr. Laufer, Just Goods’ pursuit of sustainability goes beyond marketing an alternative to the plastic water bottle. "We do not pump the water and walk away,” he said. “We partnered up with a small town in Upstate New York, and we buy its excess water, supporting its economy.”