Aquatech – universal water bottle design
The climate is changing, and by that, I don’t just mean that the earth is heating up but that the climate around single-use plastics is really changing. It’s been a growing trend that has been catalysed recently and is causing real effective changes in how people view their relationships with single-use plastics.
Some attribute this metamorphosis in public opinion to the Sir David Attenborough Blue Planet II documentary https://www.bbcearth.com/blueplanet2/. In the final episode of the show, Sir David Attenborough focused on the impact that plastic waste is having on the oceans of the world. It painted a stark reality that shone a light into the terrible damage plastics are having on our oceans. So widespread are the effects of the show that it is being dubbed “The Attenborough Effect”.
A market research group GlobalWebIndex, created a survey that found that 53% of participants reduced their use of disposable plastic in the last year, and that the nearly four thousand respondents surveyed, have described David Attenborough’s TV series Blue Planet II and Our Planet as a “key influencer” in the increased awareness around plastic.
According to Plastic Oceans, 8 Million tons of plastic are dumped into the ocean every year. They report that we produce 300 million tons of plastic per year and that 50% of that plastic is in the form of single-use plastics. The effects are damming, over 90% of all seabirds have plastic in their stomachs, and 1 in 3 marine mammals have been found entangled in marine litter. It is becoming ever more crucial to reduce our dependence on single-use plastics and this is showing in changes in consumer behaviour.
In the UK over 82% of people surveyed considered it “important” to purchase products with sustainable packaging in order to be less wasteful. 14% of all litter comes from bottles when you also take lids and labels into consideration the number is much higher.
Single-use drinks and bottles are, therefore catching some heat (rightly so!) as people are looking for alternatives. Here’s the thing though, part of the reason plastic bottles are catching so much heat is that the solution is so obvious.
Start using reusable bottles. Duh! So here’s the problem. People are surprisingly picky when it comes to buying a reusable water bottle. Well, okay as we’ll find out this really is a multi-faceted problem but consumer behaviour when buying water bottles is one aspect that is worth exploring, as consumers really are very picky when it comes to buying water bottles.
The list of things that users/consumers take into buying consideration left as the problems for designers/developers to think about include the following
- Must be convenient for everyday use
- Easy to clean and maintain as cleanliness & hygiene is very important to consumers.
- Unisex/Universal Design
- Unique Market Design (i.e. for gym lovers, for a Buddhist monk, and for children)
- Mobility and Easy-to-Carry for Daily Use
- Attractive Aesthetics (CMF – Color, Material, and Finishing)
- Functionality (cold/hot protection)
So whilst it is a simple solution it’s definitely a compound problem to solve with finesse. It takes skill, research, and technology (materialization) to advance the design of the water bottle. To add to these multi-leveled challenges it can be difficult for your bottle to stand out on the shelf. Some bottle designers try embedding technology into the bottle such as UV lamps to kill bacteria and germs, carbon filters to remove impurities and counters that total how much water you’ve drunk in a given day. This can be a great way to stand out but the real challenge is that takes real experience and skill to bring all these elements together in a cohesive design that makes sense to consumers.
Material selection is a huge factor as well in the design of a water bottle as it dictates not on the bottle’s function, but also it’s life span. A silicone bottle would be flexible that it could be rolled up and fit into a handbag when it is not in use, but would vulnerable to tears and rips over time. A stainless steel bottle would be resistant to the harshest of bumps and knocks and could last years but could be difficult to carry around every day. These are big factors to take into consideration especially when you also take into consideration the cost and environmental impact.
Metal and glass are by far the most recyclable and can be easily made from recycled sources but if being manufactured overseas their shipping must also be taken into consideration when reflecting on the product’s entire lifecycle. Glass and Metal are both denser than plastic so products that could carry the same volume of water would weigh more and therefore take more energy to ship ultimately increasing their carbon footprint during their product life-cycle and contributing to global warming.
Here at Detekt, we have learnt through experience how challenging it can be to create a game-changing water bottle, that consumers love and that ultimately changes consumer behaviour. We also recognise the unbelievable need to see single-use plastics reduced or eliminated. Creating Iconic design in such a nuanced market can be challenging but it is critically important that we start to make these changes for the long term good of the planet.
If you have a great idea for a bottle, our advice is that it is absolutely the right time to be bringing it to the market as there is a real need, and consumers are ready; but, avoid the pain and come and talk to us. We’ve already been through a lot of the challenges that face new bottle designs, and we have the skills and the experience to meld both taste and technology to create products that could change the world. If you’d like to find out how together we could make a real impact on the environment then contact us now.