Recently, we had an interesting chat with our product development manager, Niels. In itself, that’s not something we’d write a blog about. Niels has interesting conversations at least 17 times a day; our copywriter simply couldn’t keep up. This chat, however, was about plastic. Because it’s true that Dopper fights plastic pollution. It’s also true that the Dopper Original is made of plastic. And no. That’s not a contradiction, Niels explained. Here’s why.
The iconic Dopper Original looks the same now as it did when it was born to fight plastic pollution back in 2010. But what it’s made of? That’s changed. Since 2022, the Dopper Original is made with 70% plant-based waste and 15% recycled plastic waste. Which is even cooler than it sounds.
See, our material suppliers love exploring uncharted waters and have been breaking down traditional recycling barriers. As a result, they can now turn sunflower-, rapeseed flower- and corn oils and residues into safe, strong and recyclable polypropylene (PP) – the hard plastic for your Dopper bottle body and cap. They’ve also found a way to process hard-to-recycle plastic waste into the white cup of your Dopper bottle. So nothing goes to waste.
Giving waste streams a second life is an important step towards a circular economy. But even before our first reusable water bottle got its upgrade, we chose our materials carefully. And we chose to make it out of plastic.
Why? Because plastic can be a brilliant material. Yup, we said that. It’s flexible, sturdy, affordable and durable. Think about keyboards, artificial heart valves, the scuba mask that allowed you to explore our oceans or those LEGO bricks you stepped on barefoot last night. They’re practical, well-made, sometimes life-saving products that last for years and can be used again and again. And again.
The problems begin, when we choose to apply this durable material to things that don’t last. Like the one million single-use plastic bottles that are bought around the world every minute. These are plastic products that are designed to be used once and then thrown away. Only to end up in the bin or worse: polluting our oceans. Not cool. Especially when there are great reusable alternatives.
Dopper was founded to be just that. A sustainable, reusable alternative to throwaway bottles – for everyone. The aim was to design a reusable product that’s so good that people have no excuse to buy a single-use bottle anymore. So, we developed the Dopper Original. By choosing plastic, we created a light-weight, translucent and durable solution that is absolutely drop and dent-proof.
Perfect for people who are on-the-go with a dynamic lifestyle. If we do say so ourselves. Leaving them with no excuse to buy single-use water bottles.
Another reason to make the Dopper Original out of plastic, is because our tiny country actually has lots of know-how and machinery available to produce durable plastics products (that’s right, we know more than just cheese). As a result, the Dopper Original can be produced right here in the Netherlands, close to the majority of our customers and using renewable energy to power the machines. Making the production process carbon neutral.
Having said all that, there are still many poor choices you can make when working with plastic materials. So, how did we ensure the sustainability of our plastic Dopper?
We decided to adopt the principle of the Cradle to Cradle Certified® Products Program from the very beginning. That means our products are made in fair working conditions, with 100% safe, recyclable materials free of BPA or other toxins. Kinda important stuff.
It also means we accept responsibility for the end of life of a product. Which sounds like a sad occasion, but is actually pretty neat. What we do, is tell people what they can do with a Dopper bottle part after it has served its purpose. You know, after they’ve used it again and again and again. We offer ideas on how to repurpose it (colourful vase, anyone?), or where it can be recycled. If necessary, we take it back ourselves, to help recycle it correctly.
Thanks to this sustainable design that’s fit for a circular economy, in 2014 the Dopper Original became the first water bottle to become a Cradle to Cradle Certified® product. Since 2020, all our bottles are certified. And in 2022, we continued to set the sustainability standard when the Dopper Original became the first bottle collection to achieve Cradle to Cradle Certified® Gold – in the world. Woop, woop.
As you may know, we also developed bottles made from steel and glass. Not because plastic was the wrong choice, but as part of the same no excuse strategy that led us to launch the Dopper Original. To make sure there is no excuse to buy a single-use water bottle for anyone, we must create reusable alternatives for everyone. That means catering to personal preferences.
For outdoor lovers who like robust, thin-walled and smooth, we offer products in our Dopper Steel range. We developed the Dopper Glass range for people who prefer to take a stand against plastic pollution with a stylish, crystal clear and clean design. And those who like to keep their water at the perfect temperature can choose the Dopper Insulated.
Together with the Dopper Original, they make the perfect collection of reusable water bottles for everyone to fight plastic pollution with. Are you ready to save our oceans?
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