How can we reduce plastic contamination of our land?

Posted by Vivek Mehta on 29 May, 2018

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12 Solutions

Stainless Steel Straws

Posted by Earthr.org Content Team on 24 Aug, 2018

 

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Avani Eco - Biodegradable Alternatives to Plastic Products

Posted by Earthr.org Content Team on 23 Aug, 2018

Kevin Kumala was 29 when he launched his business, Avani Eco, which makes biodegradable alternatives to plastic products. Today, the company produces four tons of material every day – all made from 100 per cent renewable resources.

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Bye Bye Plastic Bags

Posted by Earthr.org Content Team on 23 Aug, 2018

Isabel and Melati Wijsen were just 10 and 12 years old when they launched their campaign to ban plastic bags on their home island of Bali. Bye Bye Plastic Bags attracted global attention and support, and ultimately succeeded in getting Bali’s governor to commit to a ban on plastic bags by 2018.

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Waterless Shampoo

Posted by Vivek Mehta on 23 Jun, 2018

It’s common practice for hotels to offer their guests complimentary shampoo and conditioner bottles, but all too often these end up in landfill.

Hotels throw these small bottles in the bin even if they’re only half used, and according to NBC ‘half a million little shampoo bottles end up in landfills every day.’ - That's an astonishing 182,500,000 bottles per year!

Around 80% of the contents of a shampoo bottle is water, since we use shampoo in a stream of running water dehydrating the product in the factory and wetting it whilst in the shower could save us an awesome amount of water as well as plastic packaging.

Presuming that a hotel bottle of shampoo is around 30ml we could save around 4,380,000 litres of water in the production of shampoo for hotels alone.

A dehydrated shampoo could be compressed into a powdered ball form; these can be packaged in the same kind of cardboard box that washing detergent comes in. Packaging in cardboard boxes instead of irregular plastic bottles also makes transport much easier, as well as transporting 80% less bulk per wash the product would even tessellate better inside vans and lorries saving on fuel. Once in the hotel the consumer would receive the same high quality product and the hotel can dispense in a personal format, choosing dispensers to fit with their image.

This idea changes how the shampoo is delivered to the user, no longer a liquid it is easier to set in a 'portion' and through using refillable dispensers the hotel is no longer required to dispose of the shampoo when clearing the room out.

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Let's Water: Bottle Rental Service

Posted by Deepthi Ravindran on 23 Jun, 2018

2.4 million tons of PET plastic are discarded every year and 27-41% of them came from plastic bottles. Even progressive states such as California recycle only about 40% of their plastic bottles every year, while Americans, on average, only recycle about 6%. 

The Let's Water system is comprised of Let's Water stations placed in high foot-traffic areas and a mobile app. 

Let's Water encourages users to reuse their bottles by providing a platform that dispenses drinks and proprietary, 100% post-recycled Let's Water bottles. Users can use their own bottles at the drink dispenser and pay retail price for the drinks, or create an account to purchase a $1 Let's Water bottle to buy drinks and refills at a discounted price. They will also gain access to various incentives and an interface where they can see how they are making an environmental impact. 

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GO Box - The service for reusable and returnable take away

Posted by Eli Martinez on 23 Jun, 2018

Take-out food containers are cheap and convenient. It has become a habit to order to-go and enjoy coffee as well as food in the park, the office or elsewhere. The food delivery market is booming and so is the to-go packaging waste related to it. In the San Francisco Bay Area of California, 48% of street litter is related to food packaging waste. Another study found that an average American office worker uses two to-go cups per working day. GO Box is here to address this issue.

GO Box is an innovative service providing reusable takeout containers and cups to food vendors and their customers. With conveniently located drop sites and a mobile app, GO Box is a fast and easy alternative for busy people who love the convenience of takeout but hate the waste.

GO Box is the first and only reusable takeout container service offering customers a way to get their meal in an environmentally friendly, reusable alternative to the single-use disposable container. With a mission of "doing away with throw away," GO Box makes sustainable eating fast, easy, and convenient for people who eat on the go.

People can sign up for GO Box for $24 per year for unlimited use. They are then able to get their meal in a reusable, durable takeout container and return it to a nearby drop site when they’re finished. At the drop site, customers use the mobile app to scan in their GO Box. Now they are ready for their next GO Box experience.

The used containers are picked, washed in a commercial kitchen, and returned clean to vendors. The team manages the full cycle of implementing a reusable system from marketing, education, operations and support. 

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Poppits® Toothpaste Pods

Posted by Mai Nguyen on 23 Jun, 2018

Poppits are individual pods of toothpaste. The small minty pod dissolves in your mouth as you brush releasing a fresh burst of gel toothpaste. Rinse with water for a clean mouth and healthy teeth. No waste.  No plastic tube.  No mess.

Kids Poppits® come in fun colors and contain fruit flavored fluoride toothpaste. It makes oral care FUN.  They love the sensation of popping it in their mouth and the burst of fruity flavor. The water-soluble film can be colored, flavored and even printed upon using edible ink, creating endless marketing possibilities. Everything from hotel logos to TV characters can be printed right onto the pods.

On average, over 1.3 billion plastic toothpaste tubes are dumped in our landfills every year. Plastic tubes take up to 500 years to biodegrade! The cardboard packaging of the pods is environmentally-friendly and biodegradable, so the consumers will be doing their part to reduce plastic pollution by eliminating use of plastic toothpaste tubes.

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QuickStir sugar and creamer spoons: eliminating plastic in to-go beverage environments

Posted by Deepak Singh on 23 Jun, 2018

Each year, Americans throw away 138 billion straws and stirrers after using them just once.  In order to vastly cut down on small plastics, this proposal eliminates up to 2-3 small non-recyclable plastics per coffee drinker in retail and to-go environments.

By making an edible replacement, which dissolves when stirred into liquid, the plastic stir-stick suddenly becomes obsolete, and the sugar and creamer packets become unnecessary. 

By focusing on combining three individual items into an easy to use sugar-based stirring stick, this is an innovation that benefits BOTH retail and consumer:

  • Economical for retail environments that serve beverages, cutting down on separate sugar, creamer and stir-stick supply chains, as well as separate pricing.
  • Consumers now only have to grab one item instead of two to three when flavoring, stirring and sweetening beverages.
  • Less packaging to deal with, leading to shorter wait times at the sugar counter, and less packaging to throw away in the cafe trash can.
  • Doesn't directly compete with any coffee chain, meaning customers can remain loyal to their favorite brands (Starbucks, Tim Horton's, Dunkin' Donuts, as well as local coffee roasters).

Why QuickStir design?

A poll of coffee drinkers found that simply pouring a sugar packet or half-and-half in a circular motion did not blend the additive correctly. Habit offset programs are also not easily adhered to, such as information to put cream and sugar in first before the coffee.

Coffee drinkers expressed desire for something spoon or stick-like to blend the mixtures more evenly, and still wanted autonomy over their own sweetener and creamer habits, due to difference in coffee taste and sweetness, even when ordering similar drinks, because of change in barista or ingredients.

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Individual Cleaning Tabs and Sets

Posted by Justin Kuhlmann on 23 Jun, 2018

In response to the OpenIdeo challenge on 'circular design', Bruno and Magdalena proposed an idea to reduce waste and increase social empowerment. The idea strives to empower cleaning ladies to sell dehydrated tablets of cleaning products to their neighbors and current customers.

The Dehydrated tabs of concentrated cleaning product generate liters of the desired cleaning product when mixed with water. Tabs are sold individually and also organized in sets by use categories, for example the home set would be composed of all purpose cleaning tabs, glass cleaning tabs, dish cleaning tabs, bathroom cleaning tabs and cloth cleaning tabs. Each tab when mixed with water at home produces liters of the desired cleaning product. Additionally Home set refill containers and replacement tabs of each cleaning product are sold.

Mainly two type of users are identified: 1) cleaning ladies who used to buy their cleaning products in sachets and now will buy them in reusable recyclable cardboard boxes and 2) cleaning ladies current customers who will buy the cleaning tabs, set and bottles directly from the cleaning ladies, switching from single use plastic bottles and sachets to high quality PET refill set boxes and bottles. Replacement tabs are also sold and delivered directly by the cleaning ladies to their current customers when necessary.

The business model is humanly centered around cleaning ladies, as users and re-sellers of the product, empowering themselves and increasing their monthly income. Through drastically reducing the dependency on plastic sachets by switching from a liquid product to a solid concentrated product, and through a model that naturally encourages reduction and reuse, the idea targets plastic that often ends up in waste. 

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Edible and biodegradable sachets and wraps directly made from seaweed as main material

Posted by Samar Rizvi on 23 Jun, 2018

Indonesia is the world’s second biggest plastic waste contributor into the ocean. As much as 90% of plastic waste goes to the ocean. Plastic waste turns into nano & micro plastic and it is then mistaken by sea animals as food. More than 1 million sea animals die every year because of plastic waste. More than 25% of the fish sold in the market is  contaminated by plastics. On the other hand, Indonesia is blessed with a lot of natural resources, including seaweed that unfortunately can’t be absorbed fully by the market. To solve both problems, Evoware provides a solution to create innovations that can contribute to end plastic waste issue, with seaweed as the main material.

Bioplastic is now an emerging material available in the marketplace. The big three biomaterials are poly lactic acid, poly hydroxyl butyrate, and starch. What we propose is an edible bioplastic, made from nutritious material without involving any chemical. It is good not only for us, but also for plants as fertilizer.

Evoware designed two types of edible bioplastic as substitutes for small-format plastic packaging and metalized- laminated sachets: 

  1. Single layer seaweed-based edible sachet for dry food products
  2. Dammar-coated seaweed-based edible sachet for liquid and semisolid food products

Why seaweed?

  • Nutritious, safe, has no allergy risk, and halal,
  • Abundantly available throughout the year,
  • The agriculture is easy and it only needs 45 days to cultivate,
  • Its waste can be used as fertilizers for plantations,
  • It can only grow in healthy environments, so seaweed farmers will actively participate in maintaining the cleanliness of the seashore,
  • Compared to the bioplastic from land crops, such as cassava or corn, the   sustainability, quality and scalability of seaweed-based edible bioplastic is better,
  • Indonesia has thousands of islands that have not been utilized to cultivate seaweed, so the raw material availability is secured.

Why dammar?

  • Dammar is a non-timber forest product and Indonesia’s forest has more than 500 species of dammar
  • Indonesia dammar is GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) and has been used as a food stabilizer, especially as an oil-weighting agent
  • Dammar-coated seaweed edible sachet can inhibit bacteria growth in the food
  • Utilizing dammar will improve the value and demand of dammar. Therefore, residents living near dammar agro-forests will actively prevent illegal logging and deforestation.

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Spill Resistant Disposable Cup

Posted by Eli Martinez on 23 Jun, 2018

In response to an OpenIdeo challenge on circular design, Tom Chan suggested his patent-pending idea of a disposable one piece paper coffee cup, which has an integrated origami folding lid that prevents spills that might burn you, ruin your clothing, and/or destroy your laptop among other things. The cup is spill resistant because of its interlocking folding lid. Traditional cups and lids create catastrophic spills when the lid pops off the rim of the cup. The proposed design reduces the chance that the lid will open when it is not intended to do so.

The cup is easily manufactured. Paper can easily be cut with a laser cutter and modern technology is more than capable of automating the folding and assembling of the cup.

His team's desire is to enter the disposable cup market and add value without asking users to change their habits dramatically. They are looking to improve the user experience for both sides of a coffee shop: the one that serves the coffee and the one that drinks the coffee, ensuring easy and intuitive user interactions by conducting customer interviews to develop empathy with the nuances of the consumer coffee drinking experience. They also looked to avoid changes that would make user experience less enjoyable while simultaneously testing features we thought would enhance their experience. 

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FinalStraw: Suck responsibly

Posted by Stuti Parekh on 29 May, 2018

The problem with plastic straws is that they take around 200 years to break down and, because the material cannot biodegrade, they remain in the environment for thousands of years clogging landfills, polluting oceans and causing harm to marine life.

FinalStraw is the world’s first collapsible, reusable straw that folds down into a case small enough to fit on a keychain. Created by Emma Cohen and Miles Pepper from Canada, the straw is made from stainless steel and designed to last a lifetime, while the container is made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic. It can be used for both hot and cold drinks, is dishwasher safe and BPA free. To help make it easy to clean it on-the-go, FinalStraw also comes with a handy cleaning squeegee that fits in the case. Each straw comes with a few FinalStraw Ambassador cards, which customers can leave at restaurants to let them know to only serve straws upon request.

According to its creators just one final straw can save 584 straws from entering landfills and oceans every year.

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