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BubbleCap - more bubbles, less waste!

BubbleCap is the smallest and simplest sparkling water maker for making fizzy drinks to empty PET-bottles of any size.

Photo of Janne Alasaarela

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Why is the PET-bottle reuse important? Here are just a few reasons…

  • Making bottles to meet America’s demand for bottled water uses more than 17 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel 1.3 million cars for a year. And that’s not even including the oil used for transportation.
  • 43.6 billion PET- bottles / year, 2,675 Tons produced.
  • 29,1% recycling rate
  • 30,9 billion PET - bottles / year, 1,896 Tons wasted!


This was only the USA numbers. Thinking globally, the situation is not any better:

340 billion beverage bottles and cans are not recycled every year worldwide. That's a recycling rate of about 26 percent.

Carbonated beverage and sparkling water consumption is growing rapidly. The environmental cost to produce the plastic bottles and transport the goods to consumers is high.

We need inventions that will make reusing PET bottles an obvious choice. BubbleCap is an invention that fills that criteria perfectly.

Our mission is to provide our customers the most versatile and sustainable way to make sparkling drinks! Soda machines require own PET-bottle, and are not suitable to reuse a standard PET-bottle, besides they are 100 times bigger and don't just fit in the kitchen. The PET-bottle used with soft drinks is made from a "preform 28", and it's a global standard. Preform suppliers are worldwide manufacturers, and the standard is very stabile. We are looking forward to bring solutions that reuses a standard PET-bottle, starting with the most simple and versatile sparkling water maker ever invented! The small size means less consumption during the manufacturing, shipping and also the demand of the counter space in the end-customers kitchen. BubbleCap is the size of a saltcellar, and is suitable for all sizes of plastic PET-bottles. With a single refill tank (425g standard CO2 tank) one can carbonate up to 120 bottles of sparkling drinks. With a small disposable CO2 cartridge (33g CO2), 10 bottles. The small size cartridge is perfect for portable use, and the big tank fits easily on a drawer in the kitchen!


Good questions and answers:

Q: Could Bubble Cap be used on one of the bottles for life allowing for continuous reuse of the bottle and the consumer just needs to buy syrup and CO2 canisters if they want flavoured water? e.g. ‘Bottles for life’ like this one - http://www.lifeionizers.co.uk/media/catalog/product/cache/4/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/l/i/life_blue_bottle.jpg or https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eceau-Bottle-Stainless-Steel-insulated/dp/B00NINFXGC

A: About the bottles, we suggest to change the bottle at least once in a month, because of the possible bacterial contamination. The thread standard is rather common, so please let me know if there is any "bottle for life" that can stand 12-16 bar pressure (BubbleCap lets 4 bar inside the bottle and we require a 3 to 4 times safety margin). It's very important to develop a product that is very easily adopted to market, and that's why we stay on the 28mm standard.

Q: How is the Bubble Cap comparing price-wise with convention fizzy water bottles?

A: Is it price-wise: Yes, you can carbonate up to 120 pcs of 0,5L bottles of sparkling drinks with the price of 4,90 EUR (a refill change price in Finland). Of course it depends where you live or where you get your refills. Usually the price varies between 3,5 to 10 EUR, which means 0,03 to 0,08 EUR a bottle, pricing 0,68 to 2,8 EUR on a store (22-100 times cheaper). When talking about the small disposable cartridges we will sell for the portable use, the price is 0,7 EUR/bottle, around the price of the cheapest carbonated water on the store.

Q: Do you have any existing barriers to developing your idea that you’d like to share to help the OpenIDEO community understand where they might join the conversation and provide feedback?

A: We have a great invention, we have seen there is a demand on the market for this invention, but it's very difficult to raise capital for a product business in Finland (except NOKIA, but that's another story..). So we need to run a Kickstarter campaign. Launching a Kickstarter campaign from Finland, without a network in the US, will be very hard. I hope this community could help us out with this and when we get the campaign ready, they could help us spreading the word out! We will launch a campaign on 28.8. but we try to reach the audience during the following 4 weeks.

Q: How is this solution positioned in the current marketplace? Have you identified any competitors? What are you offering in your solution that competitors have not tapped into?

A: Our positioning is quite clear, we are jumping into the market of sparkling drinks and beverage making. Our product is sold as a kitchenware, but it can also reach the audience on the trekkers, pack backers, and other outdoor living, who'd like to have a portable and very versatile carbonator. Our solution is way more versatile than the existing ones, yet enough simple to understand. We offer a carbonator that fits a plastic soft drink bottle, and which can be used at the home and on the go.


https://www.facebook.com/foodenvysocial/videos/704090949763591/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEISuO1GrCw

http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/sparkling-beverages

http://tammenheimonmatkassa.fi/testissa-kompaktit-hiilihapotuslaitteet/

http://asuntomessut.fi/pinnan-alla/2016/09/03/kupliva-syyskuu/

http://designbloggarna.se/bloggar/baltic-vibes-by-karolin/formex-5/

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/bubblecap-the-smallest-carbonator-ever-green#/

Idea Title

BubbleCap - an obvious choice to reuse a PET bottle for making sparkling drinks!

Company / Organization Name

BubbleCap Oy

Website

www.bubblecap.fi/en

Where are you / your team located?

We are located in Finland.

How does this Idea redesign unrecyclable small format plastic items that often end up as waste?

Recycling rate for plastic is only 23 percent (US), which means a lot of plastic PET bottles are treated as waste. Although there is an effective PET bottle return system in most of the Western countries, they don't collect the caps and seals, but bottles are mainly returned without caps. In less developed countries, return systems are ineffective and may not exists at all. Reusing PET bottles will also include reusing of the caps, which will prevent the small format plastic waste!

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

Our idea applies well to user case#2. Besides Trevor and Benjamin can reuse soda bottles and bottle caps, they can also enjoy fresh sparkling drink on their picnic!

In what geographical context or area does your Idea plan to operate / solve?

Our product current distribution network consists around 100 stores in Finland and a couple in Sweden, but we are currently launching a new, more versatile product version to global distribution. Our main market area will be USA and Western Europe.

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

We will start a Kickstarter Campaign on 28.8.2017, with an experienced and fast growing US marketing partner FundedToday. During the campaign, we will receive a lot of retail inquiries, and we will be prepared to this rush. Our experience from the last campaign (small, experimental campaign on Indiegogo 2015) showed us the proof of concept. We are planning to count on social media and POS marketing. Our obstacles are: seed funding and scaling the production.

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Full-scale roll-out: You have developed a pilot, tested, and analyzed the impact of that pilot as it pertains to the problem scope. You are ready to expand the pilot significantly and begin to scale.
  • Operating Concept / Startup: You have fulfilled the stages of testing, undertaken a full scale roll-out, and are currently operating this concept/idea as a business.

Please describe how becoming a Top Idea and working with the Think Beyond Plastics Accelerator Program will help to accelerate your solution.

The program would help our project with achieving our marketing goals with the launch, and bringing trustworthy non-profit organizations to co-operate with us to fight against plastic waste. We could set up a campaign so that BubbleCap Oy would give a small amount (0,5-1 USD) of each sold unit for the work against plastic pollution.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

"It was the hot summer 2011, and when working hard on my boatyard, I needed to drink water constantly. I prefer sparkling water, and as a former environmental and aquatic sciences student, I was worried about the plastic pollution my consumption makes. I was going to buy a soda machine, but I realized I had no room in my kitchen for any other appliance. The solution popped up to my mind: a small, simple tool to insert carbon dioxide from a gas cylinder to an empty soft drink bottle." Janne A.

Tell us about your work experience

Our team has on total 45+ years on R&D, 60+ years on Sales and marketing. The inventor is a former univ. student on the Environmental Protection.

Please describe your legal and organizational structure

BubbleCap Oy is a Ltd. company. It has 4 founders, and 3 employees. Subcontractors are used for production, warehousing and sales.

12 comments

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Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Janne!

I am tagging Angel Landeros here to see if he has any feedback on Bubble Cap.

Are you able to indicate how many Bubble Caps have been sold?

Photo of Janne Alasaarela
Team

Hi Kate!
Thanks for the Question!
We've sold 12000 BubbleCaps so far basically during the R&D phase already (selling a minimum viable product). If we count a 5 year working time, and an average 1 bottle a day usage, we have already replaced 22 Million virgin plastic bottles by the means of reusing PET-bottles. This also means over 15 Million plastic bottles NOT WASTED to landfills and oceans (recycling rate is poor: less than 30%). We are just launching more commercial concept worldwide, and we are looking forwards to over 100 000 units sales next year, which will save us from 200 000 000 bottles! :)

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