Have you ever wondered what it takes to produce just one plastic bottle? It is the combination of one litre of water and one litre of oil. But how often are these recycled? Our oceans portray a very visual part of the problem. Greenpeace discovered that the demand for single-use plastic bottles is continuing to grow as more than two million tonnes of throwaway plastic bottles are sold each year – the equivalent weight of 10,000 blue whales. Louise Edge, Senior Oceans Campaigner at Greenpeace UK, believes; “Companies need to move away from single-use plastic, embrace reusable packaging and make sure the rest is made from 100 percent recycled content.” Dopper is one company looking to change these patterns of behaviour and our throwaway society. The Netherlands based firm produces reusable water bottles to encourage consumers to use tap water instead of bottled water and reduce plastic waste. Their solution? Fight plastic with plastic.
A simple idea to many, but a necessary one; the founder Merijn Everaarts was first inspired by watching a documentary about our world’s plastic consumption.
Everaarts was shocked how plastic bottles could make our oceans “change into a giant garbage patch that resembles plastic soup.”
In 2009, he noticed how many plastic water bottles were being thrown away every day and “just had to do something about it!”
This led to the creation of Dopper ( @DopperUS ) which is Dutch for ‘dop’ or bottle cap. Everaarts wanted to use this as the stem of the name to highlight the importance of the bottle itself. It is a reusable bottle made from either high-quality plastic or steel to help reduce the impact on the environment. Almost 100 entries were submitted to design the famous bottle that is sold today. What is particularly unique about Dopper is that the cap also turns into a cup.
"Responsible behavior has become quite trendy nowadays. Investing money in good products is a statement of a good investment that you will be able to keep for a long time. People are starting to get more aware and concerned about their environment, and that is a good sign!" said Everaarts.
Additionally, Dopper's founder wanted to maximise the design so it could be used as more than just a reusable plastic bottle. After further innovation, the team designed a sports cap with a flexible nozzle making it easier to drink whilst working out. The new cap is shaped like the Dopper signature cap that makes the bottle so recognisable. However, its design uses a flexible material that can be folded back, allowing for easy access to the nozzle cap. Dopper wants to raise consciousness with regard to the impact of single-use plastic waste, which is why the new cap can be used on current Dopper bottes. So no extra bottles in your cupboards – all you need is an additional cap to get a new use out of your Dopper.
Another obvious answer to this growing marine issue is surely to create bioplastic bottles?
For Dopper however, the amount of recycled materials isn’t enough to create a closed loop. Everaarts emphasises the real disadvantage to recycled plastic: "It's quality isn’t as good as a virgin plastic."
Furthermore, Greenpeace stated that these still contributed to marine pollution, and did not compensate for the growth in the total volume being produced. There has also been a move away from refillable bottles, low levels of recycled plastic used in drinks containers and opposition to deposit return schemes which pay people to return empty bottles, according to the green group.
Now Dopper has been launched in US markets, could this be the catalyst to change the stigma associated with re-using plastic bottles and disregarding millions of them in our oceans each year?
The quest for a sturdy bio-based reusable bottle continues.
To learn more about bio-based alternatives to plastic waste: