Israeli 'rubber band' solution could reduce plastic bottle volume by 80%

A French-Israeli entrepreneur believes that recycling challenges posed by large quantities of plastic bottles could be significantly ameliorated with a rubber band.

Ecoams Planet's plastic bottle recycling solution (photo credit: ECOAMS PLANET)
Ecoams Planet's plastic bottle recycling solution
(photo credit: ECOAMS PLANET)
It is often said that necessity is the mother of invention, but what about simplicity?
According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, there could be more plastic than fish (by weight) in the ocean by 2050, if current plastic disposal trends continue. In fact, only 14% of the world’s masses of plastic packaging materials is collected for recycling.
One French-Israeli serial entrepreneur, however, believes that recycling challenges posed by large quantities of plastic bottles could be significantly ameliorated with a solution based on the addition of a rubber band.
On Monday, Morris Amsellem, the CEO of waste solution company Ecoams Planet, unveiled Bakbuk: a simple solution to crush plastic bottles and make recycling easier for consumers and beverage manufacturers alike.
Key to the uncomplicated solution is a biodegradable rubber band strapped around a particular part of the bottle, which assists consumers to easily fold up their empty bottle and reduce its volume by 80%.
Reducing the volume, Amsellem says, will enable eager recyclers to save space and reduce the frequency required to deposit waste in the recycling bin or travel to the refuse center.
The rubber band solution, which already boasts patents in 14 countries, can be implemented on any type of original PET plastic bottles, including those used by the world’s leading beverage makers. Patent applications have been filed in 58 countries worldwide to date, led by Israeli patent and trademark firm Ehrlich & Fenster.
“Bakbuk is bringing a revolution in all phases of recycling: for the consumer it is simple and efficient to use, reduces the frequency of throwing [bottles] into the recycling bin by a factor of five, and provides a tremendous ecological response to catastrophic plastic pollution worldwide,” said Amsellem.
“In addition, for the recycling company, it reduces the number of journeys to recycling sites, reduces transportation and compression costs, and generally increases efficiency and productivity. For the beverage companies, it provides solutions for sustainable development, a ‘circular economy’ solution and a solution that is relevant to customers.”
The company is currently in talks to include its solution in bottles sold by major beverage manufacturers, and thereby bring the innovation directly to consumers’ households. Amsellem’s efforts are advanced by a positive entrepreneurial track record, including the $21 million sale of a simple plant watering system in 2006 to a public French company.
According to a US survey conducted for Ecoams Planet by Ipsos, 91% of consumers said that a solution reducing the volume of large drinking bottles by 75-80% was an important innovation. A total of 69% said they would be willing to spend at least one cent extra on a shrinkable plastic drinking bottle, including 12% who said they would be willing to spend more than five cents extra on such a product.