Like many clever inventions, the system is rather simple. It consists of lightweight plastic bags, separate dispensing containers, and container caps. The disposable bags contain the flowable material, have a lip (much like a baby bottle liner), and a pierceable top or pull tab for opening.
The container cap captures the bag lip between the container and the top, and has a dispenser attached appropriate for the material being distributed. Potential applications for the Not-A-Bottle container system include beverages such as water, juice, and power drinks, foods such as condiments and salad dressings and various dairy products.
The product is in tune with the contemporary drive towards environmental awareness. In each application, an appropriate dispensing container allows ongoing reuse by simply replacing the product bag. Cost is therefore reduced due to the need for significantly less plastic than is used for normal bottles and reduced foreign package fees. There are no expensive closures and no bottle deposits to worry about.
A knock-on effect of this is that even if the product is finally disposed of, it will have minimal landfill impact as little plastic is used. As multiple refills are possible, a chain of supply from warehouses and other large volume retailers is being established.
"The Not-A-Bottle container system provides an environmentally superior alternative to current use of disposable plastic bottles," said Charles Schroeder Rocky Mountain Business Solutions president. "It's ideal for everything from water and juice beverages to motor oil, household cleaners, and hair spray. I believe that corporate leadership with a strong commitment to the environment and social responsibility will be pleased with how this system can differentiate their product from their competition - who continue to use plastic bottles for product distribution."
Rocky Mountain Business Solutions is now licensing the Not-A-Bottle container system technology for use with all types of flowable materials. Exclusive, global licenses are currently available for specific application categories.
This product is the latest in a line of packaging solutions designed to enable processors to become more environmentally responsible. Environmental awareness in the food industry has become increasingly important in recent years as a result of consumer pressure and increasing regulation. Recent EU legislation increasingly requires the recovery of packaging waste through recycling, composting or energy recovery.
A good example is the European Standard: Packaging - Requirements for packaging recoverable through composting and biodegradation - Test scheme and evaluation criteria for the final acceptance of packaging (prEN 13432:2000). Food manufacturers and processors must therefore comply with tighter rules while at the same time adapt to changes such as new technology, changing supply chains and more sophisticated demands from consumers and retailers.
Traditional plastics are not inherently biodegradable. As a result, the development of new materials is another area that food packaging firms are looking into. Biodegradable materials are now being made from biological, renewable raw materials and from fossil non-renewable raw materials.
For example, polymers of biological origin are a new generation of plastics that are claimed to be more environmentally friendly than those made from oil. Many bioplastics can be processed on conventional plastic molding equipment and converted into packaging materials (or other products).
A problem is that novel plastics are usually more expensive than the oil-based traditional plastic materials. Recent advances in production technology have helped to reduce the cost of some degradable resins, but for the foreseeable future, the focus for most degradable polymers will continue to be niche markets.