Water-tech company Refil has launched its universal water filter on Kickstarter.

The Wellington-based start-up is hoping to raise $50,000 for the production of its activated charcoal filter which can be used to remove chlorine from tap water.

Johnny Huynen, inventor and founder of Refil, said the aim was to promote the reuse of plastic bottles and to minimise landfill waste.

"The goal with Refil is to use the science of a well-known filtering element and combine it with the convenience and availability of plastic bottled beverages."


According to the New Zealand Beverage Council, bottled water purchases have grown by more than 25 per cent in the past couple of years.

"The number one reason why people choose bottled water over filling up from the tap is the taste factor, as often we're left with bleachy or metallic after tastes, and using activated charcoal we can remove those tastes from tap water and ultimately create a better water drinking experience," Huynen said.

He said the filter presented the opportunity to "save 100s if not 1000s of dollars on bottled water each year".

Refil uses activated charcoal in its filter - from coconut shells - to absorb toxins, chlorine, lead and impurities found in tap water. The charcoal stick is biodegradable and can be used up to 150 times on a bottle before being recycled.

Water is the most consumed drink in New Zealand, up more than 21 per cent since 2010, according to data from Nielson Consumer and Media Insights.

The universal filter is compatible with 65 per cent of plastic bottles available in supermarkets, Huynen said.

More than $5700 has been pledged for the filter from 200 backers and is available for pre-order on Kickstarter.