Ecologic Brands’ Paper Bottle a landmark in recyclable packaging
27 Mar 2018 --- Innovative creators of green packaging solutions, Ecologic Brands, have collaborated with L’Oréal US to introduce a fully recyclable paper bottle. The bottle is made from recycled corrugated and old newspapers and can itself be recycled up to seven times. L’Oréal will launch the bottles through their new line, Seed Phytonutrients, during Earth Month, April 2018.
With potential in a number of categories, including wine, pet food, protein powders and laundry detergent, the bottle design features a molded-pulp outer shell made from old newspapers. Inside, the inner pouch, which was used in the previous design, has been replaced by an extremely thin and recyclable extrusion blow mold. It requires 80 percent post-consumer HDPE, and 60 percent less plastic than the original inner pouch used on the initial Ecologic bottle. Also of significance is the removal of the side flange and thereby the exclusion for the need of glue. Instead, interlocking patterns bind the two shells together, creating what Ecologic’s Julie Corbett, President and Founder, refers to as a more robust and reliable bottle.
The bottle is environmentally-friendly in more ways than one. Not only can it be recycled up to seven times, but it also dramatically reduces plastic use compared to the standard rigid plastic container. Furthermore, the shells of the bottles can be flattened, allowing for highly economical and energy-efficient transportation – Ecologic estimate that one truckload of their paper bottle can equate to approximately nine truckloads of rigid plastic containers.
The new paper bottle is very much a reinvention – and improvement – of earlier Ecologic designs. New York-based L’Oréal provide the paper and corrugated waste from their distribution centers, creating a fully circular and eco-friendly process. The partnership estimates that five tons of waste are regenerated each week into these new paper bottles.
The creation of a circular plastics economy has become a pressing international debate, especially in light of recent big news stories. Just recently, New Orb Media found microplastics in the PET water bottles of 11 major brands, while Amsterdam supermarket chain, Ekoplaza, opened the world’s first plastic-free aisle in what is regarded as a major victory for environmental campaigners.
Industry initiatives to ‘lightweight’ plastic packaging, support recycling in line with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s ‘circular plastic economy’ approach, or find alternatives in biodegradable packaging are now commonplace. Still levels of plastic pollution continue to increase – the World Economic Forum estimates that at the current rate, plastic will outweigh fish in our oceans by 2050.
Innovations such as Ecologic’s new paper bottle demonstrate that circular production processes in packaging can be economical, especially when collaboration between innovators and global corporations, such as L’Oréal, can be formalized. Innova Market Insights has pinpointed ‘The Mindful Consumer’ as one of its top ten trends for 2018, indicating that the market for eco-friendly products continues to expand.
Ecologic already claims to have diverted 350 tons of plastic from landfills and oceans. It is a company founded in 2008 with the ambition of designing and manufacturing paper bottles made from recycled materials.
WorldPackagingOnline has contacted Ecologic Brands for comment on their innovative new paper bottle.
By Joshua Poole
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