Art and Design

Recycled Plastic Bottles As Art

There are a thousand and more reasons to rid ourselves of plastic – our health, the environment, the cost in resources – and that’s just a start. In the U.S. less than 25% of plastic bottles are ever recycled, the rest ending up in landfills. But we know artists who are working with our throwaway plastic bottles and creating public works of art. While we wish there were no plastic bottles (or at least every one recycled), here are five examples of our plastic trash turned into public art:

Have you found any ‘plastic bottle art’ that you’d like to share?

A Very Different Kind of Beachcombing

Here in Bluffton, we’re right on the May River and close to our Atlantic ocean shores. Most of us love the ocean and we collect souvenirs like seashells, driftwood, rocks, and other momentos. And still, there are individuals working to clean up the beaches by combing the beaches for trash – the human impact on our shores. On Twitter, we follow @beachcleanup and @floastsamdiaries – interesting people who are showing us in very creative ways what shows up on our shores. And then we found this artist who took a whole year’s worth of trash from the beach and turned it into art.

Amping Up the Durometer: Building a Stronger Cap

You know glass can be technical, but so can silicone. Our grippers and cap are made of 100% food-grade silicone and we use a durometer to measure its density or firmness. (Feel free to use that in your next Words with Friends game.)  The durometer we have ensures that the material will hold its shape and maintain the seal on your glass water bottle. 

This past week, we made a move to amp up the durometer of our caps. Why? While it functions perfectly this move to a slightly denser cap ensures that if you bumped that cap with your fingers or hand, it wouldn’t just pop-off.  So now you have a fully-sealed, bump-proof cap. And a great new word to play.

And if you want a bit more of the science of how we measure – durometer ratings go from “A” to “D” and from low numbers to high numbers.  So a piece of silicone with an A20 rating, think of a flexible food mat, is much more flimsy than a piece with a rating of D70, think of a rollerblade wheel.  Can we get this nerdy? For a better bottle, we can.

Sharing Our Story at the 2011 International Home + Housewares Show

What a week!  This past Sunday through Tuesday, we made our first public debut with our reusable glass water bottles at the 2011 International Home + Housewares Show. It was an exciting time as so many people came to see our bottle and hear its two stories.

The Art Story

BottlesUp reusable glass water bottles were designed by nationally-acclaimed architectural glass artist Laurel Herter.  More than 2 years ago, realizing the problems of plastic to our health and the environment, Laurel realized she had a solution right there in her studio – design a reusable glass water bottle.  The glass water bottle is designed for the modern hand with a slight curviture and rings to be an easy, natural fit. Also, it has a rounded lip, like old-fashioned milk bottles, making it easy to drink from. But the art story continues, the bottles are made using ancient glass techniques in a modern facility. Unlike manufactured bottles, our bottles have the natural beauty of glass, made from one piece of glass, and placed in molds. The glass is finished with a ‘puff of air’ (this process is called semi-automatic) to ensure we get a consistent interior diameter so we can get a water-tight seal with the silicone cap.

The Green Story

BottlesUp glass water bottles have the lowest carbon footprint in the industry.  The enrite product and our packaging is 100% sourced in North America. The glass in the reusable water bottles is made from a minimum of 75% post-consumer recycled glass, that is sourced on site in Pavisa, Mexico.  (No slow boat from China for us or for you!) Glass is naturally BPA-free and PVC-free. The colorful food-grade silicone grippers and cap are made in Maine. We use minimal packaging that makes the most of recycled materials. You’ll find zero plastic in the product or the packaging – zero, zilch, nada. 

We hope it’s the first of many times we get to tell our story.

Finalist for the Global Innovator Award at the 2011 International Home & Housewares Association

Wow! I know it’s late, but I had to share – tonight, BottlesUp glass water bottles were named one of six finalists for the 2011 International Home & Housewares Association gia awards (that’s the Global Innovator Awards) at a gala event hosted at the Four Seasons Chicago.

Wow! What does this mean? It means of all the products in this massive show, that our reusable glass water bottle that blends art, function, and environmental responsibility was recognized by a juried group to be among the very best at this year’s show. It’s very humbling, surprising, and exciting.

And just like everything we’ve experienced with IHA, this event was superbly well done and highlighted the best in the retail industry. The joy on designers faces as their products were called, the sheer delight of retailers whose stores were recognized – it was outstanding.  All of the people there are dedicated to bringing you the very best design and retail experience – that’s their work, their career, their joy. 

As our name was called (and really, we were at Table 29, who wins from a table that far back?) we were shocked in a most happy way. We were just happy to enjoy the great food, cool band that was clearly talented, meet other great designers and retailers, and listen to an emcee who was as comfortable with Spanish as he was with Swedish as he was with Russian, That’s talent!  As the spotlight shone on laurel and the whole room applauded, we too experienced the joy that good design can bring.

Congrats to every single honoree and finalist for the gia awards, we’re in great company!

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