Paper is the new plastic

The idea is so simple you have to wonder why no one thought of it before. The simplicity, of course, is part of the genius behind these two design proposals for boxing water instead of bottling it. The depressing reality of the post consumer waste that plastic bottles generate is staggering: of the 60 million plastic bottles thrown away each day in the US alone, only 14% get recycled, meaning 86% lay in a land fill for up to 1,000 years. That’s nearly 19 billion bottles a year. Finally, someone is doing something about it.

The first of two innovative new designs is the 360 Paper Bottle from the folks at Brandimage, who have developed the very first 100% recyclable paper container. It’s made from renewable resources, is food-safe, can hold liquids and comes in 6 different colors. It may look a little different (better, I’d say), but it’s just as functional as it’s plastic counterpart; To close the bottle, simply snap the tab and use like a regular bottle top. The second proposal, the Boxed Water is Better project, follows a more traditional approach with its clear inspiration from the classic milk container. And while only 90% of it comes from renewable resources (still on the high end of the spectrum), its “carbon footprint is dramatically lower because boxes are shipped flat and filled only as demand is created, as opposed to most bottled water companies that ship their empty bottles across the globe to be filled, then ship them back for consumption.” Here’s to a greener new year.

Thanks to for photos.