How many soap bottles do you throw out each year? Yeah, enough for the eco-terrorist elite and Leonardo DiCaprio to make you feel guilty for a few seconds while you mock their hypocrisy. All the while, despite our best efforts to rid ourselves of evil plastics, we still produce tons of waste which takes ages to decompose. But what if there were a zero-waste bottle option that dissolved (before?) by the time you were done with the contents?
Jonna Breaitenhuber, a Berlin-based product and process designer, has come up with one such option. Her Soapbottle project (which features bottles which look less like containers and more like bars of soap) holds a variety of liquids and dissolves as the contents are being used:
Created by pouring soap mixtures into molds, the base Soapbottle features a hole for a hanging string to fit in and is filled with either a shampoo, conditioner, or shower gel. To get to the contents, you have to cut out the small indent on the upper-right edge of the “bottle”. This allows the liquid to be poured out and the bottle to be sealed using a small metal cover.
You wouldn’t want to fill these bottles with drinks, because Soapbottles are best used in the shower. As their namesake implies, the bottles are made of soap which dissolves as the liquid inside continuously pours out and the Soapbottle is exposed to water in the environment.
Once the soap has outlived its usefulness, you can grate it down and mix it with some natron and baking soda to make your own washing detergent. Or you could just use the whole thing up until there’s nothing left but disgusting leftover soap chips.
Jonna went through various types of soap fats, bottle types, and molds before ending up with the Soapbottle’s bar-like design. Though it looks to hold little more soap than a week’s worth of suds, the end result is a simple concept (a bottle made of dissolvable soap! ) in a simple design and completely zero waste.
Me? I’m holding out for the 32 oz version but have some ideas to make my own. Let’s hope P&G and other body care product-producing companies pick up on the idea. You can find more on the variations and design process at Jonna Breitenhuber’s webpage. For more photos of the Soapbottle, her Instagram page is the place to be.