We all know the problem — it is all over the media and social channels: 1.3 billion single-use plastic drinking bottles are purchased and trashed everyday around the world. The worlds answer to this problem is recycling. However, the true answer is: don’t buy plastic in the first place. Ice°Bottle set out to eliminate the need for these bottles altogether.
Many elements had to come together to make this goal a reality, one of which was a Blue Bite-powered digital experience that helps get consumers involved in saving the planet. This is experience is launched when consumers tap the NFC tag embedded in the bottom of the Ice°Bottle.
We talked with Jon Grant of Ice°Bottle about how they've made an innovative water bottle, and how Blue Bite helped. Find out more in the interview below.
Tell us how the Ice°Bottle originated and how it helps work toward this goal.
Our company has been providing water purification systems to deliver safe drinking water for adventurers, disaster victims and military around the world for decades. More recently, we became passionate about deploying this technology in an everyday solution, so people could avoid using single-use plastic bottles and improve the quality of their own drinking water. We engineered a more sustainable bottle and paired it with a revolutionary filter cap, the Ice°Cap.
Using Ice°Cap, people can drink tap water anywhere in the world, safely and securely. So you can bring it to work, the gym, the airport or on your next vacation so you’ll always have clean, great tasting water in your own bottle.
Ice°Bottle went to great lengths to make sure the bottle looks great and lasts a long time so consumers will use it for as long as possible. What sets it apart from other water bottles?
I think two key elements make our bottle more sustainable. First is the design. We use higher-grade stainless steel, and the way that we design and construct the bottles utilizing our engineering skills make for a an aesthetically pleasing and stronger bottle. Drop it accidentally and the bottle won’t easily be damaged.
Additionally, our proprietary print process literally embeds the vibrant colors and bottle graphics into the the coating, not the surface. This results in a long-lasting, glossy shine which helps people want to keep using their bottle.
The WWF (World Wildlife Federation) seems like a perfect partnership for Ice°Bottle. Tell us about how you work with them and how that got started.
The WWF-UK is a perfect partnership for us because we have complementary missions around sustainability. We got started with the WWF-UK because they were looking to refresh their online shop product offerings to more contemporary and sustainable items. Ice°Bottle was a perfect fit for that new product strategy. The WWF-UK sold thousands of bottles in the first few weeks in their online shop. Additionally, we signed a global agreement with the WWF-UK, in which a portion of the proceeds from WWF bottle sales will be used to support WWF missions, in both the UK and the US. We hope to keep expanding the relationship to other WWF chapters and similar organizations around the world.
Each Ice°Bottle contains an embedded NFC tag that, when tapped with a phone, launches a customized Blue Bite experience for Ice°Bottle owners. Why did you decide to add this technology to the bottles?
We are so excited about this part! Initially, we were looking for a way to allow users to track and share their impact on the planet by using Ice products. So the Blue Bite platform powers our “Bottles Saved” counter, but it also opened up another world of possibilities. Leveraging the Blue Bite technology we can go beyond counting saved bottles and provide the consumer with a full-on digital experience for their specific bottle. Additionally with our B2B customers, we leverage the platform to provide a branded experience for organizations to engage with their customers. The Blue Bite platform is a very powerful tool, the sky is the limit!
What you are able to offer consumers with these digital experiences, and what has the feedback been?
We are early in the roll-out of the technology, but initially users have been delighted to see their own impact on single-use plastics in the counter functionality. Additionally, we’ve received a lot of positive feedback for the upcoming Ice°Cap filter replacement purchase option, by just tapping the bottle and with only a few clicks, a user can order a filter refill. The Blue Bite technology is going to make it really easy for people to make sure they are never without an Ice°Cap filter when they need one.
Has this experience helped Ice°Bottle get consumers involved in working toward the goal of ending single use plastic for drinking water?
It’s too early to say, but the initial enthusiasm is very promising.
What’s next for Ice°Bottle, both in the near future and long-term?
We are launching the Ice°Cap in April this year. With the launch, we are immediately focused on education and getting the word out. Because this filter technology is such a new concept for consumers, we want to empower people with easy-to-understand information on water quality, filtration technology, benefits of hydration, etc. Our new website is focused on education and the science behind our patented technology. Long-term, we hope to build a sustainable business that makes single-use plastic bottles obsolete. Imagine if we never had to buy a single-use water bottle again! Lofty goal? You bet.
Ice°Bottle and Blue Bite worked with Smart Cosmos to digitalize the bottles and engage customers, partners, consumers, and employees in new ways through the value chain.