How a plastic bottle can be sustainable


We designed the Dopper Original to be the perfect sustainable alternative to single-use plastic water bottles. From the production process (carbon neutral) to its packaging (minimal and recyclable) and a three-part design (easy part replacement) – every aspect has been carefully thought through. 

That includes our choice of material. A question we sometimes get, is why the Dopper Original is made of plastic. Why do we choose to produce more plastic products, when we’re in business to fight plastic pollution?  

‘Why do you produce a plastic bottle?’ 

💧 Durable and lightweight. The Dopper Original bottle has thick walls made from polypropylene (PP). The strength and thickness mean it will survive being dropped from up to 2 metres, without any dents. Yet thanks to the density of PP, even with thick walls the bottle weighs only 100 grams. 

💧 Local, carbon neutral production. By choosing to work with plastic, the Dopper Original can be produced in the Netherlands. Our tiny country happens to have a great amount of know-how and machinery to produce durable, reusable plastic bottles in a sustainable process (thanks to wind power and smart use of cooling water to heat up the factory, our production is carbon neutral). This in contrast to steel bottles, which are only produced outside Europe*. Keeping the production close to home means less shipping, so less CO2-emissions.    

* The only non-plastic reusable water bottles produced in Europe are aluminium bottles, a material we choose not to work with as it would require adding a lining. 

‘How can you claim a plastic bottle is sustainable; isn’t plastic bad?’ 

💧 Reusable versus single-use. As a material, plastic isn’t bad. Its flexibility, affordability and durability allows us to create well-made reusable products that can last a lifetime. From life-saving artificial heart valves to LEGO bricks that bring generations of joy. What is bad, is using this long-lasting material for products that are designed to be used only once and then thrown away. Like the one million single-use plastic bottles that are bought around the world every minute.  

💧 Cradle to Cradle Certified®. Instead, we created the first Cradle to Cradle Certified® water bottle in the world. A painstakingly sustainable bottle, made in fair working conditions with 100% safe materials (free of BPA or other toxins). Built to last, but also designed to be easily recyclable. Because we believe that to realise a circular economy, companies must take responsibility for the end of life of their products.  

‘Why don’t you use recycled plastic?’ 

💧 EFSA regulations. To make a Dopper from recycled plastic, we could only use discarded plastic cleared for food contact by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). That rules out most discarded plastic since there’s a chance it can come into contact with harmful substances during collection. In practice, the recycling would have to take place in a closed loop – like Coca Cola collecting their own PET bottles and recycling them into new ones. Something we currently don’t have the resources for.  

💧 Quality. We looked into using discarded plastic from factories, left over from their production process. That adheres to EFSA regulations, but didn’t offer the high quality we’re after. The bottle would get damaged when dropped from 80 cm instead of the current 2+ metres. Additionally, the material gave off a very unpleasant smell. Not the perfect alternative to single-use bottles we want to create.