OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

A zero waste solution for liquids

Combine bulk system and returnable bottle system: two modes of ecological consumption, to reduce wastes and our footprint.

Photo of Quentin Testa
1 4

Written by

We propose an alternative to the single use bottle in more than two hundred supermarkets and grocery stores that is easy to use, economical and environmentally friendly. 

Our supply chain combined with the returnable bottle system reduces waste(pastic,glass…) transport distances and emits 60% less effective gas Greenhouse than the recycled single use bottle.

How that works ?

Jean Bouteille reinvents the customer experience in store. The consumer pays 2 euros to get a clean bottle of 50cl, 75cl or 1l, and fills it himself with the self-service fountain install on the shop. After consuming the bottle at home, he can choose to re-fill this same bottle in store or return it back, and receive in exchange his money back. Then the bottles are washed and dried before being send back to the shops. By bringing back his bottle, the consumer is fully aware that his action reduces  waste, and begun to be an actor of change.

Refill at will, return at any time

For the food retailers, we provide a unique alternative to a single-use bottle, combining  bulk system to reusable glass bottle.

We based our activity on three axes that allow him to propose a turnkey solution for the stores:

- Sale or rental of self-service fountain 

- Manage a pack of returnable bottles 

- Supply shops with liquids (oils, vinegars, wines, etc.)  pack on bag-in-box or tin.

Our current markets are the organic shops (ex: Biocoop, Biomonde, L'Eau Vive, etc.), zero waste shop, supermarkets and hypermarkets, located throughout France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Reunion and Denmark , Please follow the link opposite: )

Idea Title

Jean Bouteille - Buy just what you need

Company / Organization Name

Jean Bouteille


Where are you / your team located?


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

The deposit of our glass bottles allows to emit less greenhouse gases and to minimize the use of non-renewable resources like the , oil, sand, that is necessary for the manufacture of plastic and glass bottles. The ambition of Jean Bouteille is to reintroduce the returnable bottle system in France on a large scale . Over the years 2015, 2016 and 2017, our solutions prevented more than 54,000 bottles thrown out, equivalent to 27 tons of waste avoided, like plastic and glass.

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

For grocery, organic shops, zero waste shop, supermarkets and hypermarkets , farmer, brewer who want to produce less waste and reduce there footprint.

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

Our solution can be operated everywhere , but in the world, 44% of the waste are from 34 country of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) , that why today we focusing on those country, but we think to adapt our concept

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

Condition to develop our solution: -Open new washing unit or make a partnership with to professional bottles washer -Develop partner stores -Support our R&D to make new solutions to consume liquids without waste

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.

1) Industrialization 2) Scale up our solution in other region (France, EU) 3) Develop other solutions to make it possible to consume other product like, beer, nuts butters, soap... without waste.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

While the bulk sale was already established in the organic stores, Gérard Bellet (the founder of Jean Bouteille) found the lack of solutions allowing the bulk sale of liquid products. He led a pilot project in the store "Biocoop Saveurs and Saisons" located in Villeneuve d'Ascq (59) (in the suburbs of Lille) which met a great success from the consumer.

Tell us about your work experience

CEO: Team:

Please describe your legal and organizational structure

Simplified joint stock company

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Vivek Patil

I liked the video! Very well presented. This idea looks like it is ready to be implemented in mega cities. Any limitations you faced yet?