For sustainable society


A shampoo bottle made of soap that does not produce any waste

Looking at shelves to select shampoos and body soaps, you may find all brands use colorful and elaborate packaging, and of course, they use plastic bottle containers. You may think that plastic bottle containers will be recycled if you segregate when discarding; however, the recycling rate is low relative to plastic production. 8.3 billion tons of plastic were produced worldwide between 1950 and 2016, and as of 2015, 6,300 million tons had been waste. In addition, only about 9% of them was recycled. About 12% of other plastic waste was incinerated, and about 79% was accumulated in landfills or the natural environment.

With facing this reality, you may think to use plastic bottle containers as long as possible. However, would not it be better not to use plastic bottle containers? One of designers in Berlin has produced a bottle that can be said to be the optimal solution.

Jonna Breitenhuber has developed a bottle made of soap to write a master’s thesis at the University of Arts, Berlin. This bottle is called “SOAP BOTTLE” and made from soap that has been hollowed out. You may be worried that the liquids contained within the bottle will dissolve the soap. But don’t worry. Since the interior is lined with a water-insoluble layer, it does not dissolve. It is possible to make a spout by cutting the corner of the bottle and to attach a metal cap to close it.

Since the SOAP BOTTLE is designed to be used as a soap, it slowly dissolves as it is used. Although it may make the bottle slippery and hard to keep holding, it can be solved by attaching a string to the metal cap and hanging it. After using it for a while and the soap is running low, you can cut the bottle to a small size and mix it with sodium bicarbonate and baking soda to use as a hand soap. You also can discard the bottle as it is since the SOAP BOTTLE is made of biodegradable components.

Last year, it became a hot topic that Air New Zealand introduced edible cups as a test. Unique ideas, such as cups made from seaweed laver or from dried bonito instead of aluminum foil cups, are expected to reduce waste and plastic. When you hear “Let’s reduce waste and achieve deplasticization!” you may find it hard and cumbersome; however, it is possible to make you want to try it depending on the idea. Although global environmental issues are at a severe stage, it is not impossible that we overcome the issues with our wisdom.


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