October 20, 2020 3 min read

How did two friends find a sustainable solution to our insurmountable single-use plastic waste?

This item needs no introduction. You’ve seen it in our pages and posts. But behind this beautiful product is a sincere story of two friends who are the engines of social change and sustainability.


Memobottle founders

Meet Jesse Leeworthy (left) and Jonathan Byrt (right), friends and co-founders of the memobottle. They grew up in a small coastal town in Melbourne. Seeing the adverse impact of single-use plastic bottles on their ecology and landscape, they resolved to champion a change. The goal was clear: to improve social convenience, which would provide an environmental remedy through lowering waste from single-use plastics.

If you’re unaware of just how immense the problem of plastic waste is, this short video will explain it a little further:

 

The statistics cited by Jesse in the video are based on research on Australia’s plastic waste, but are significant enough to warrant a call to action worldwide. Furthermore, Australia’s shortcomings in environmental sustainability was highlighted in the Global  Sustainable Development Goals ranking in 2016 (coming in lower than Singapore).


“In 2016,  480 billion single-use plastic bottles were consumed globally. That’s  enough to circle the globe more than 2500 times.” - Jesse Leeworthy


In Australia, the single-use bottle industry accounts for over 30% of total waste. 80% of bottles end up in landfills to be forgotten, taking about 450 years to degrade naturally. Of the 20% sent to recycling, only around  7%are actually recycled into new bottles while the rest are either downcycled or put back into waste.


Ask Yourself This

Between buying a solid water bottle and bringing it around with you, and buying a single-use bottle of water from the supermarket that can be crushed and discarded once empty, which would you pick?

Sadly, there are many of us who would prefer the latter. For convenience, we’d rather not carry around a bottle of water we may not finish. Most of our bottles are difficult to stow away in our bags, with the typical round shape bulking our bags unevenly. And sometimes we don’t even want to bring a bag out.

Bottled water just seems immediately cheaper and more convenient. There’s always that “sale” in supermarkets where you can get two 500ml bottles of Dasani bottled water for S$0.75. And Singapore’s recycling facilities are pretty good, right?

Not quite.


“Human convenience is often the catalyst for devastating climate damage,” - Jonathan Byrt


Plastic recycling is  not convenient.  If we discard our plastics without rinsing or cleaning them, they cannot be recycled. That’s just one of the larger issues with recycling. And we do not have the complete infrastructure for recycling plastics in Singapore, which leads to high costs and energy requirements for recycling alone.

We should all be familiar with the 3 R’s. There’s a reason why Recycle is last and Reduce is first. By hindering the demand for single-use plastics, we can directly impact the supply chain and reduce the production demand.

If there’s anything Jesse and Jonathan got right, it’s that recycling is  NOT the most direct and impactful solution to the plastic waste predicament. Deterring the continual production of single-use plastic bottles comes first and foremost.

But that’s not the only thing they got right. Have you seen these bottles??


A7 memobottle

 

Of course you have.

Made from  Tritan™, a BPA (bisphenol A)-free and BPS (bisphenol S)-free plastic these plastic bottles give crystal-clear clarity and durability. Most of all, they’re sustainable. They're simple, sleek, and are also easy to clean.

Made to fit, these bottles are a similar shape and size to our most commonly used items - tablets, laptops, notebooks, mobile phones - and so seamlessly slide into our bags and cases just like another one of them.

 

Memobottle A'Design Award

In 2016, Jesse and Jonathan made two milestones. First, the memobottle was so beautiful that they were given out in the 88th Oscars Awards as gifts. Second, the memobottle won the coveted  Golden A’Design Award in the Fashion and Travel Accessories Design Category.


Memobottle water.org

Changing the world one reusable memobottle at a time, the co-founders vehemently push for a paradigm shift. Partnering with the not-for-profit organisation, water.org, every bottle sold provides one person with two months of access to clean water. To date, they have provided over 6 million days of clean drinking water to people in need!


Memobottle B Corp

 

Memobottle is also a certified  B Corporation, raising awareness and responsibility for social and environmental change. 

Jesse and Jonathan’s motivations translate clearly in the memobottles. These simple bottles may seem like a gesture too small in the global scale of things, but its impact is exponential. Let’s join the #onebottlemovement. And work together to put a stop to single-use plastics!


All memobottle sizes are in stock at Interstellar Goods  here. Come down to our store if you want to have a physical look!


Further Reading:

The Myth of the Recycling Solution by Lisa Kaas Boyle (plasticoollutioncoalition)

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