Featured image for Liquid Death’s New Powdered Beverage ‘Death Dust’ Doesn’t Come In a Can. Is That a Problem?

Liquid Death’s New Powdered Beverage ‘Death Dust’ Doesn’t Come In a Can. Is That a Problem?

by Chloe Gordon on 02/21/2024 | 2 Minute Read

Liquid Death is no stranger to headlines, but lately, it's not their hostile branding that's making an impact. 

As everyone and their mother knows, the brand began selling water in aluminum cans with a motto of "death to plastic" and a mission to "kill plastic pollution." And while yes, the brand has reframed the idea of what's possible for water packaging, they've just released a new product with packaging that feels like they might be tiptoeing around the very issue they wanted to "murder." 

Liquid Death has expanded its product lineup to include a powdered beverage called "Death Dust." The electrolyte drink mix comes in three flavors: Severed Lime, Mango Chainsaw, and Convicted Melon.

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But therein lies the rub—this new offering from the beloved brand doesn’t come in aluminum cans. Instead, you’ll find it inside a paper and foil pouch with a thin layer of plastic to protect the product from oxygen and ensure it doesn’t become rock hard. The layers are also fused, which, as a result, means it cannot get recycled as the material can't be separated and sorted into their proper streams in a recycling facility (you might want to have Terracycle on your speed dial there, Liquid Death).

So yes, the pouches reduce shipment weight (you’re not shipping around water) and use fewer materials than your everyday aluminum can. 

Still, part of Liquid Death's well-publicized mission is founded upon a pretty compelling idea for the sustainable set: murder plastic. These new pouches go against the brand's motto, and consumers are catching on. 

User @kmmohr on X/Twitter said, "The brand that brought us the amazing tagline "Death to Plastic" now comes in a plastic pouch." And in response to that tweet, @ZohaibRattu commented, "You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain."

Liquid Death still isn't a villain in my book, but they are getting a bit of flack for this packaging hypocrisy. Will it damage the brand's reputation? Likely not. They've done an incredible job of building a loyal fan base and understanding their consumers' sense of humor. At the end of the day, pouches like these can still spell plastic reduction—because, hey, at least they’re not bottling it in PET with water.

Then again, maybe the best piece of plastic is the one you never use.