360Degree Paper Bottle

A few questions regarding the 360 Paper Bottle from Brand Image shown on the Core77 front page today…

To refresh any memories:

The 360 paper water bottle from Brand Image is an attempt to address 60 million plastic bottles thrown away daily in the United States (of which 86% become garbage). The paper vessel is made from 100% renewable food-safe resources, fully recyclable and versatile in a number of potential liquid categories.


(there are more pictures in the original post)

First off - I think there are some interesting ideas here… the lid that rips off and then becomes a stopper is pretty cool. The renderings and branding are also nice.

But…
Can someone explain how the liquid gets into this package?
It appears that this is some sort of blow-molded paper pulp product.
If anyone knows any paper-blow molders - please post. I have work for you. :slight_smile:
I guess the other possibility would be to have the 2 sides come together as a clam-shell and be bonded together - although this still doesn’t explain how the water gets in there.
For the bottle to not leak or turn into a ball of mush I would think that there would need to be some sort of wax coating throughout the interior. This makes things very hard to bond and totally messe with compostability and isn’t very nice to recycle either.

I’ve done a few packaging projects with molded fiber - and to be honest - if this product is possible it would open up a world of opportunities. Any additional insight would be appreciated…

I agree with you that looks to be a really great solution but has a lot of problems with the offering.

One like you said earlier, how is it filled. From the look of it, it would be a Molded pulp product kind of the same way egg cartons are made. It would be molded in 2 pieces and then fused together. With this solution the bottle could then be formed before the 2 halves come together. The only problem with this solution is that the bottle would only be half full.

The other problem with this solution is how does it solve the recycling problem. They claim that 86% of all plastic bottles end up in a landfill. My question is how much paper ends up in a landfill? How is this bottle keeping people from just throwing it in the trash and paper is not any better than plastic in a landfill.

I think it is an interesting but I think it is a very costly solution that doesn’t really solve the problem.

PackageID,

I have no idea about all the particulars of this product. It seems like an intersting concept.

The big difference is that it takes between 70 and 450 years for a plastic bottle to biodegrade in a landfill, while it only takes 2-5 months for paper to biodegrade.

If these bottles are indeed made from paper or paper based products, then they could be recycled with chipboard, or other paper based materials.

The fact is that just like plastic bottles, not all of these paper bottles will be recycled, but the impact on landfills and environment would be far less because it would take much less for these containers to biodegrade.

[quote]Architorture
The big difference is that it takes between 70 and 450 years for a plastic bottle to biodegrade in a landfill, while it only takes 2-5 months for paper to biodegrade.[/quote]


It is true that paper does biodegrade faster than plastic but I believe your figure of biodegradation is in well managed landfills. I also agree that we need to get more plastic out of our waste stream but we need to do it in way that is easy to manufacture and encourages people to properly dispose of it.

This could just be a simple Marketing plan with the right graphics. I think one of our biggest issues with this topic is more about education and awareness. We as humans need to be told and reminded what to do. This means that if there is a cool paper bottle that encourages people to recycle it or if possible reuse it than we will. Same with a plastic bottle. If we quiet designing things to be disposable and start encouraging reusability and recycling than that is the way to change thing.

This bottle is cool, but just creating a cool bottle out of paper doesn’t solve the problem. There is more that has to go with it. It has to be manufacture at the same price if not less that the current offering to keep the manufacturing cost down along with the product cost to the consumer, and there has to be a marketing plan behind it that will drive the sustainability part of it. The only what it will work is for all of these things to be in place.

I could however see it replace the boxed or pouch drinks in kids lunch boxes. Just a thought.

Agreed with everything above…

A little deeper digging on the design firms website finds the claim that the paper packaging stands up to all liquid categories. This is still pretty vague but it would appear that they have at least considered the idea that the paper needs to be somewhat water resistant.

Filling the package at the halfway point seems possible - however the amount of air that they would be shipping would be enormous. Consider the square plastic milk jug that Sam’s club recently tried out with the sole purpose of decreasing the amount of wasted space in its shipping containers.

Who knows… there may be some great innovations here. I’m not an expert so I can’t really do anything but speculate.

I get a bit frustrated when I see projects that make amazing claims and are slick enough in their presentation to avoid scrutiny.

I should add… I’m totally for designers pushing the envelope, challenging the norms, etc… but if a high level design firm is going to put out a case study on a project such as this I think they should be prepared for a few questions.

I was doing a bit of think about his and thought that the may be a way this could be formed, filled, and sealed. The two halves could be formed and sealed together while leaving a small opening to be filled. The package could be the filled and then that small opening could then be heat sealed or somehow molded closed. This is the way most juice boxes and even stand up pouches are made. I the other hand there still needs to be some coating on the inside so the paper can hold up to moisture. I don’t think this has ever been done with molded pulp and would not be cheap.

How is it better than a paper cup? Why not make a slightly stronger paper lid?

This is my point. Paper cups are wax coated which is not the best for recycling.

it would need to be air tight, impermeable, to ensure food freshness, otherwise gas exchange between permeable membrane - paper - would destroy the contents.

How I would make this:

prefill extra light, thin biodegradable plastic film pouches.
continuous pulp feed, like plastic extrusion, into a continuous die.
filled pouches placed into pulp filled cavities.
more pulp extruded on top.
fed into continuous die, closed, heat set.
cut, stacked, etc.

this process could be done at extreme speeds, as required for economies in the fresh packaged food industry.

[quote=“pier”]it would need to be air tight, impermeable, to ensure food freshness, otherwise gas exchange between permeable membrane - paper - would destroy the contents.

How I would make this:

prefill extra light, thin biodegradable plastic film pouches.
continuous pulp feed, like plastic extrusion, into a continuous die.
filled pouches placed into pulp filled cavities.
more pulp extruded on top.
fed into continuous die, closed, heat set.
cut, stacked, etc.

this process could be done at extreme speeds, as required for economies in the fresh packaged food industry.[/quote]

This would have to be explored because no molded pulp packaging is done this way. Molded pulp is done through filling a mold with pulp “paste” compressing it and then heating it. It is kind of like thermoforming paper. Its not cheap and generally not the most attractive either.

I like the idea of the biodegradable pouch.
WalMart’s requirement for the shelf-life of bottled water is 1 year - so that would be the goal to shoot for.

PackageID - Couldn’t agree more. Molded pulp looks great when it’s rendered however out of the tool blemishes such as ragged edges, inconsistencies, - in particular in the flat flange would likely be a bit of an issue. Large flat areas that don’t have any rib structure can often get a bit of a warp to them. On this product the warp could probably be compensated for by putting a rib around the entire end of the package rather than keeping it flat. The toolmaker would like this also as it makes it easier to get the final part out of the tool.

Coloring the pulp is also expensive. In order to run a batch of color the machine must be first purged of the existing pulp, cleaned, and then the colored pulp introduced. Once this color is done… the purging and cleaning starts again.

Well… I’m not sure if we’re going to see one of these in the store very soon - but at least it has solicited some discussion…

van_ID,

I totally agree with you and I feel the same kind of frustration. To propose new concepts is great, that is how innovation is done, but to present it as something that is finished and resolved when it is obvious, it isn’t, is irritating. We are dealing with ID here, not SciFi.

I always get suspicious when the only images on the website are renderings. They say, they did the prototyping. Why are we not seeing any prototypes? Even better, in action?

mh…

This is very suprising to me because I have actually worked with these guys on projects in the past back when they were 180 design and agian when 180 merged with Laga. BrandImage has since taken over these two so it sounds to me that they may be getting to big for themselves.

I have to admit - the first time I walked into my local Home Depot and saw the packaging and ID for the Black and Decker VPX line - I was pretty impressed. I’m not sure if they did the ID but the packaging is shown on their website.

See:

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://ecodesign.lboro.ac.uk/files/imagemanagermodule/%40random433933d1193e8/cardboard_bottle.jpg&imgrefurl=http://ecodesign.lboro.ac.uk/index.php%3Fsection%3D270&usg=__BkjnBMUa390-twNBvpqet3FPbI4=&h=260&w=250&sz=22&hl=en&start=6&um=1&tbnid=iYI3pfFy8Vu_DM:&tbnh=112&tbnw=108&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dcardboard%2Bmilk%2Bcarton%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26sa%3DN

See:

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.alternativeconsumer.com/wp-content/uploads/Ross/ROSS_FALL_07/greenbottle1.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.alternativeconsumer.com/2008/01/07/greenbottle-the-greener-milk-carton/&usg=__YwiYd1XuVpHUA6jDAL_SZIRL1EY=&h=272&w=274&sz=74&hl=en&start=20&um=1&tbnid=0I0bcNmnYiFxeM:&tbnh=112&tbnw=113&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dcardboard%2Bmilk%2Bcarton%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26sa%3DN

But you know, if you take into consideration the amount of energy required to manufacture bio-degradable resins for a thin-film liner, transport the resin to a converter (processor), the energy required to process the film into a container, the manufacture of materials to then manufacture a suitable exterior container to protect the thin-film bag, then transport the “recycled” materials to a “recycling center”, and consequently transport the recycled materials back to someone to reprocess it …

Do you think, maybe, that after all is said and done, the old glass, washable, refillable bottle is the most economic, and ecologic. Multiple use, cheap, readily available raw materials, impermeable, and even if it isn’t recycled it is inert and harms nothing. As far a the wash cycle is concerned I’m sure that there must now be a process which would be more “water-friendly” than the old way of washing and flushing water down the drain. Christ, the Skylab recycles sweat and urine into drinking water…

PackageID nails it:

I think one of our biggest issues with this topic is more about education and awareness. We as humans need to be told and reminded what to do. This means that if there is a cool paper bottle that encourages people to recycle it or if possible reuse it then we will. Same with a plastic bottle. > If we quit designing things to be disposable and start encouraging > reusability > and recycling then that is the way to change things.

PackageID; Please pardon my artistic graphic license

No problem Lmo. Thanks for the props. This is an issue I struggle with everyday as a package designer.

This reminds me of something. The tetrapak. Paper packaging for liquid is definitely not new. I would be interested to find out why the tetrapak isn’t successful in the states as compared to Asia. The tetrapak isn’t really a recycle friendly product either. Maybe there’s a way to combine the positive attributes of both packaging designs.

“Sippy” drinks (boxes and bags), chicken and beef broth, coffee creamer (at a restaurant), come to mind here in the States.

I would be interested to find out why the tetrapak isn’t successful in the states as compared to Asia.

The recycling process seems to be the big issue. Containers left for recycle must be segregated in a separate curbside box because the aluminum/plastic film used tends to clog up “regular” paper pulping equipment. The actual recycling process must happen at a tetrapak oriented facility which has the equipment capable of separating the plastic and aluminum film from each other and the paper; this would mean additional transportation costs, and probably deters folks from even being bothered with the effort.

The recycle rate of TP containers in the UK has been only about 4% of the 2 BILLION TP containers consumed annually (ref 1) mostly attributed to inaccessibility of TP recycling centers. At one point consumers in the UK wishing to recycle were required to package empties, and ship them to a recycler at their own expense. Then, the only TP recycler in the UK closed in 2006 due to rising energy costs. Containers had to be shipped to Norway for recycling … there’s sustainability for you. There are currently several processors in the UK.

While TetraPak containers are well accepted in Asia (29% of the world market!), the recycle rate is currently low. And if you consider the energy/transportation requirements to recycle it is easy to understand why the rate is low. Tetra Pak China says in its first Environment Report that it has successfully recycled more than 4900 tons of waste, which are equivalent to 500 million Tetra Pak packages. With Chinese annual production expanding to 16 BILLION cartons (ref 2) they’re going to have to do better than that. A lot better.

Unexpectedly (or not, given the apparent world view on “counterfeiting”), plagiarism of the Tetrapak design, resulting in containers that do not conform to TP material schedule, seems to be an issue with regard to the recycling process as well.

ref. 1

ref.2

TetraPak in the UK

TetraPak is investing heavily in getting people to recycle their containers … which of course, it should be.
http://www.tetrapakrecycling.co.uk/

TetraPak recycling process description

Wow that was very informative. I don’t think we as IDers really think about Pkg and what is going on behind the scenes. We tent to think that if it is paper than we can recycle it. This really is not the case. Also I have always call Pkg Design the bastardized child of ID. We tend to think of all the great products that we design and how to keep them out of a landfill but when it comes down to it, everything is packaged in some way and that almost always get thrown away immediately. We never want to admit if it is ID or is it graphic design. Is it something that should be our job or is it something that should be left up to marketing? Packaging contributes a lot to our waste stream and is a part of the product process that is needed but is also something that should be put in the product development process. This is an issue I think all of us should think about just a bit more and try to get a bit more education on.