There’s a new ice game in town. Dubbed Tudor Ice Company, the startup takes its name from Frederic Tudor, the enterprising gent who began harvesting ice from New England ponds and lakes back in 1806 and shipping it around the world. In this case, Tudor Ice Company is taking municipal tap water and purifying it via a nine-step process, which results in extra pure ice that won’t alter your drink in any way. Except to keep it cold.
And rather than freezing massive blocks, the company is filling single-use plastic packs shaped like cubes and collins spears. These are then shipped at room temperature and frozen by the recipient. Which is interesting. But our first thought: this creates a lot of packaging waste. To that, founder Nestor Villalobos responded candidly.
“The packaging waste is absolutely a concern. The plastic IS recyclable but only with certain plastics. We are working with our distributor partners to create a reclamation program which allows them to get used units back from high-volume places like restaurants and bars. We are also going to create an at-home program with the same concept. We are also working with our materials supplier to figure out ways we can make it 100% recyclable just like existing plastic materials. However, since this is an entirely new method of packaging, doing so will take time and resources.”
In regards to the actual ice, it melts 60% slower than traditional ice due to its size, shape and density, and because there is virtually no air inside the water. Just one cube is reported to last for several drinks. It has no taste or smell because of that purification process. And because of the single-use packaging, there’s no risk of contamination, as the ice is never touched by human hands. Which is good, since a recent study found that one in four restaurant ice bins tested were, in fact, contaminated with things you really don’t want in your ice bins.
It will be interesting to see how bars, restaurants and at-home consumers respond to the idea. But if their just-launched Kickstarter is any indication, then people are responding favorably–they reached their goal in just 24 hours. The campaign runs through November 20th, so if you want to contribute and pre-order some ice, there’s still time.