It all started with the issue of safe water, which should never be an issue! The first filter was developed to remove worm Guinea larvae from the water it was contaminating. Once they had the technology in place, LifeStraw created a product that could filter out virtually all of the microbiological contaminants that make water unsafe to drink. Today, LifeStraw is used in water products and projects in more than 64 countries around the world… If you are travelling, this straw is probably the most important item you should take with you!
What was the tipping point to start this water filter straw?
It all started in 1994 when the Carter Center approached LifeStraw’s parent company, Vestergaard, to develop a filter that could remove Guinea worm larvae from the water it was contaminating. Vestergaard designed a cloth filter but then evolved it into a more effective pipe form in 1999. Today, more than 37 million LifeStraw Guinea Worm filters have contributed to the near-eradication of the disease.
Inspired by the impact of the LifeStraw Guinea Worm filter, Vestergaard worked to develop a product that could filter out virtually all of the microbiological contaminants that make water unsafe to drink. The result was LifeStraw technology, introduced in 2005 as a personal “straw-like” filter.
What is the mission of LifeStraw?
LifeStraw’s mission is to make contaminated water safe to drink, all around the world. LifeStraw is used in water products and projects in more than 64 countries around the world… but that’s just the beginning.
How does the LifeStraw filters and purifiers work?
This differs by product. All products have a hollow fibre membrane filter with very tiny pores. This prevents contaminants from getting through the filter. Some products also have carbon filters, which absorb contaminants that dissolve in water, like chemicals and lead.
What kind of people would find the LifeStraw really useful?
Anyone that does not readily have access to safe drinking water. This could be in a developing region without municipal water resources, or after an emergency like a hurricane or flood where the main water sources have been contaminated.
You also have water bottles. Do these use the same technology?
Yes, all products use the hollow fibre membrane, and the Go bottles also have a carbon capsule in addition to the membrane.
Do you have other tech-travel products that you’d like to share?
All of our products are great for travelling! Check out our Personal, Flex, Go, and Universal for individuals, or Mission, Family, and Community for larger groups.
Generally, what are the materials used for the LifeStraw water bottles, filters and purifiers?
LifeStraw water bottles are BPA free plastic, the filters are made of plastic fibres. All products can be recycled.
You also run some programs, such as the LifeStraw Follow the Litters. Could you explain a bit more about this? Do you also give back to any organisations?
We are working to give a sustainable access to safe drinking water by engaging governments, donors, and individual consumers to understand the problem and become an active part of the solution.
We also support other organizations who provide water aid all over the world, by providing funds, discounts, or in-kind donations of LifeStraw products
We also have the Safe Water Fund, which is our charity where we raise funds to provide resources for various programs and emergency response.
If you could write a message on a big wall that the entire world could read, what would it say?
Access to safe water is a basic human right.
Finally, where can we find you? Online shop, worldwide…?
Amazon.com, shop.lifestraw.com, retailers like REI, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Target, and others all over the world!
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