Even though it’s recyclable and there are facilities to recycle them, plastic bottles are still a part of Earth’s problem. Annually, there are over 80 billion bottles manufactured, and around 80% of that number end up in landfills and oceans. We know how long plastic biodegrade, and if this keeps going on, the future of Earth might be like in Wall-E film.
Both sides (environmentalists and plastic manufacturer) should provide a solution to solve this plastic problem. And the good news is, there’s an alternative bottle which is made from paper and it’s fully functional and sustainable.
Before we move on, let’s understand that packaging plays important roles. It’s an extension of companies branding and identity and at the same time, it gives consumer better experience. Wouldn’t it be nice if we buy something and knowing that the things we’re buying comes with professional wrapping/packing? This, unfortunately, creates waste.
This is why more brands need to start changing conventional packaging into the sustainable one. We need to replace materials which are harmful for the planet so that our path towards better, greener future will be easier.
BillerudKorsnäs, an expert in innovation and technology, and Nordic brand agency called Grow just launched The Paper Bottle Project. It’s a great alternative to the wasteful and harmful plastic bottles. The paper bottles are made from virgin pulp harvested from Scandinavian forests, and they leave neutral to minimal environmental footprint.
The bottle design has a structural and graphic language that shows the harmony between the material, design, and graphic language. The patterns are inspired by the woods and nature, especially spruce and pine trees. Those trees are also the most important elements of the bottle’s raw material.
One of the graphic elements that you can find “grade stamps”. These are symbols usually used by forest industry to specify different types of trees that are cut down, ensuring the quality of materials.
You can find the stamps on the side, highlighting elements such as the maker, the material, and the specs. There’s an eternity icon on the cap, symbolizing the project’s vision and concept of sustainability.
If you look at the bottle, you’ll see how the branches and needles of a Spruce are reflected in the abstract, multi-angled layers of the bottle. This creates proud, elegant yet soft and welcoming impression. Upon close inspection, you’ll notice the bottle’s meticulousness and attention to detail, as well as how the design is very connected to the nature.
Some of the world's leading players in fiber materials, barriers, design and technology have united in creating the world's first 100 percent recyclable and degradable fiber bottle for carbonated beverages. Experience the Paper Bottle project https://t.co/GFjCHETViv #bioeconomy pic.twitter.com/pAlrEj3UM2
— BillerudKorsnäs (@BillerudKorsnas) June 8, 2018
Why do they make design it in a structural form, you may be asking? First of all, it’s going to catch onlookers’ attention but it won’t change the function or anything else. Second, brands that use paper bottles can imagine how the world would be like if they play a role in helping the environment to have a better future through their consumers.
This initiative’s ultimate goal is to minimize waste and encourage other brands and consumers to make a change for the environment. But like any other things, this project has faced some challenges.
Their first challenge was creating a shape or form that would be appealing to brand owners. At the same time, they want the bottles’ characteristics to stay true to the raw material. The paper is made of virgin pulp, so they want the final design as if the bottles are “born from the woods”.
But that’s not all, the design must be ready for mass production as well as its restrictions. The project worked hard to finalize a shape which can challenge the norm but still feasible at the same time. But this challenge was overcome and you can see the final bottles today.
— Paper Water Bottle (@PaperWaterBottl) July 28, 2015
Paper Bottle Project is not alone. There’s also similar project called Paper Water Bottle. This project was born from where ideas come from: imagination. One day Jim Warner, a well-known designer with expertise in consumer packaging goods, was walking with his son, James. His son asked him what he does for work. Warner spotted an empty bottle, pointed at it, and replied that his job is designing and making packaging like the bottle.
His son asked again, “You make trash?” And this is where Warner is moved to take an action and do something about trash problem. It’s true that sometimes a child’s innocence can trigger us to do things which we never thought about before. And kids will grow up and live in this world, too. If we keep making and throwing plastic waste, there’ll be nothing left for the next generation.
The journey really began later, after Warner met Dan Doster at an international branding firm in 2009. Foster is an industry leader in branding, pricing, marketing and management while Warner served as a managing director of the industrial design that time.
Warner’s vision caught Doster’s attention and he saw a potential in it. Then, Doster immediately wanted to advance the paper bottle plan, formed another company, and got the patent application rights to the product.
What separates Paper Water Bottle from Paper Bottle Project is that the former looks more plain and is compostable. The outside part of the bottle is made from 100% organic and renewable molded fiber (you can find it in bamboo, bulrushes, and sugar cane). The inside part of the bottle is protected and sealed by 100% recycled resins. Knowing what they’re made of, you don’t doubt the compostability of these bottles.
Paper Water Bottles are customizable, meaning that you can brand it your own, change the color shape, volume, and closure. The labels are printed with soy ink and compostable adhesives (also compostable embossing/debossing). You can ask for a direct-print label as well.
— Paper Water Bottle (@PaperWaterBottl) August 20, 2015
Just like any other company, this project has an ultimate goal which is producing a bottle that you can easily compost in the backyard. Another goal is replacing plastic bottles which usually contain liquid, gel, or powder. Imagine a grocery aisle where you can find shampoo, soap dispensers, home cleaning products, sprays, and many more things which are packed in compostable paper bottles.
Do you think paper bottles are a good idea? Or do you prefer compostable bioplastic instead? Tell us what you think or your take on this in the comments below. Don’t forget to read this article to find out another plastic alternative.