Cardboard bottles and jars are made from recycling materials and are easily recyclable, creating a circular system
One day the Californian financial advisor Julie Corbett has caught a gap in the market for laundry soap available in environmentally friendly containers. And he came up with the idea of making cardboard bottles and jars. Or rather, she thought that molding cardboard around a thin plastic liner could create a sustainable alternative to all-plastic bottles.
He assembled his first bottles in his kitchen, using a glue gun. After some time and several million dollars of investment, his company Ecologic Brands is growing.
Cardboard bottles and jars
Ecologic Brands now produces bottles in their approximately 18000 square foot factory in California. The plant converts waste cardboard and plastic products into bottles, jars and bags that are shipped flat and assembled by Ecologic's customers, a bit like IKEA furniture. Customers then use cardboard bottles and jars as they want, filling them with detergents, food and beauty products. When the bottles are empty, the lightweight plastic liner can be easily removed and recycled, just like the bottle or jar.
The company's engineers developed their proprietary manufacturing process from scratch and have filed 37 patents for the processes, to ensure that cardboard bottles and jars can be used just like traditional plastic containers. Ecologic Brands points out that their process
uses 60% less plastic than conventional bottles and this year expects to produce around 75 million cardboard bottles and jars.
A downhill road
How is the market reacting to the advent of cardboard bottles and jars? After a slow start, manufacturers are finally taking notice of the product in a big way. Corbett says, "What drives me crazy is that our first carton bottle has been on the market for nine years, and consumers finally notice it. More and more retailers want it - I guess we were ahead of its time."
Developing sustainable, circular packaging solutions is a key part of reducing dependence on plastics. Hence, it is no wonder that we are seeing an increasing number of innovations in this space.