Eastman Chemical Co. received the Sustainable Consumer Product Award for the KOR ONE refillable bottle at the International Plastics Design Competition, co-sponsored by Design News. Results were announced last night at the National Plastics Exposition in Chicago.
The KOR ONE has a one-handed lid hatch system that permits easy opening and closing, a hinged cap that stays open during drinking and is leak-proof. One of the goals of the new design is to reduce plastic bottle waste going into landfills.
The bottle is made from Eastman's Tritan copolyester, which was launched in 2007. Tritan is also winning environmental kudos because it is free of bisphenol-A, one of the chemicals contained in polycarbonate. Another feature of Tritan is its ability to withstand stress cracking in multiple dishwasher cycles.
Referring to the environmental issues confronting the bottle water market, Eric Barnes, founder of KOR and creator of KOR ONE, says, "We call it 'The Perfect Storm.' We don't have specific data but we know the reusable bottle market is growing rapidly because of consumer awareness of what's going on in the media."
The KOR ONE design results in part from an unusual outreach Eastman has made to the industrial design community launched by Eastman marketer Gaylon White, who established Web-based and face-to-face educational meetings with industrial designers. "We started with the idea that industrial designers do not have a lot of familiarity with specific plastics, and may not have engineering backgrounds," he says.
When Barnes learned of Eastman Tritan copolyester, he delayed the timing for the KOR ONE introduction so he could use the BPA-free material. The KOR ONE bottles are molded by Nypro at a plant in Monterrey, Mexico.
In a more recent development, Key Baby, LLC, a producer of infant care products, introduced a new line of baby bottles and sippy cups using Tritan EX401 copolyester in an injection stretch blow molding process to make baby bottles. As a result of the new processing approach, no secondary annealing step is required, saving energy.
Following is the full list of winners:
Commercial Product Category Awards
Furniture: BASF for the Embody Chair
Automotive/Transportation: Inergy Automotive for the Twin Sheet Blow Molded Automotive Fuel System
Lawn & Garden/Agriculture: Steinwall Inc. for the Seed Tube
Industrial/Military: FPM Tooling and Automation for the WaterBrick Container
Medical: Hospira Inc.for the iSecure Syringe
Recreation & Leisure: Durham Boat Co. for the Competition Oar
Retail: Bemis Manufacturing Co. for the Target All-Plastic Shopping Cart
Packaging & Materials Handling: Sosa Tech Advisors for the High-Impact Plastic Pallet
Single Part Award: Indesca, C.A. for the Rotomolded School Desk
Judges' Award: Bulk Molding Compounds, Inc. (BMCI) for the Thermoset Food Service Platter
Sustainable Part/Component Award: FPM Tooling and Automation for the WaterBrick Container
Sustainable Consumer Product Award: Eastman Chemical Co. for the KOR ONE Bottle
People's Choice Award: Excelec & CIA LTDA for the Prepaid Energy Meter
11th Annual IDSA/Plastics News Design Award: Hospira Inc. for the: iSecure Syringe
Innovations in Plastics Award: Inergy Automotive for the Twin Sheet Blow Molded Automotive Fuel System