Paper water bottles invented for upcycling
PET bottles propose one of the biggest challenges for our consumer society, and though there are effect to recycle plastic waste in a meaningful way, it is still too big of an issue to be solved by a few futile steps. Still, efforts striving for a more sustainable recycling process are not without any use, as they bring us a step closer to a well-rounded solution. Some designers, however, think that we probably should not be experimenting with the already existing pet-system, but to come up with alternative solutions for storing and selling drinks.
Luigi Rausch, a recent industrial design graduate, who is also deeply interested in psychology, took that path and composed the concept of Paper Water Co. As the name suggests, he designed a brand new container for water, made from only two ingredients, beeswax and paper. He arrived to those two components after his investigations on compostable materials during his quest for a water bottle that could be disposed, recycled, and composted. Beeswax is one of the oldest water repellents, that is edible, hypoallergenic, antibacterial, and has indefinite shelf life. Matching it with translucent paper was an obvious choice as it is made of 100% wood fibres, and more importantly, it is see-through, which turned out to be essential for water-consumers.
After the contents are gone, the user has two choices: it can be put into the wastebin and sent to a landfill. Since the exterior is uncoated, the bottle will break down in over six weeks, leaving only the beeswax behind that provides food for some insects. An even better choice is, however, to send the empty container back to the company. Each packaging is pre-labelled with the return postage info, making it easy to send the bottle back to it origins, where, rather than being recycled, will be upcycled can begin yet another life-cycle.
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