Dutch brand Dopper fights plastic with a plastic bottle. We spoke to founder Merijn Everaarts.
We (FAP) sat down with Merijn Everaarts, the founder of Dopper (DOP), a Dutch company established in 2010 that creates sustainable water bottles and wants to reduce single-use plastic waste. Here’s what he had to say about them:
FAP: You set out to fight plastic pollution – with a plastic bottle. Why?
DOP: I believe that change happens when people are motivated. To just ban something – like plastic for example – isn’t going to make people understand the need for change. We create events that aim to activate peoples’ urge to create change rather than accept passively that it is needed. The Dopper bottles are the messenger to our cause.
FAP: Why aren’t Dopper bottles made out of recycled plastic? What materials do you use?
DOP: We do take back broken parts of Dopper bottles to recycle these. The amount of recycled materials isn’t enough to create a closed loop, though. In Brazil we are testing recycled plastics as the moment. But there is a downside to recycled plastic: Its quality isn’t as good as a virgin plastic. When we make Dopper bottles from virgin plastic we do so to create a bottle with a maximum lifetime. Our materials are in line with the Californian Proposition 65. This guarantees that there are no toxins inside the materials we use and that they are not harmful the health of our consumer.
FAP: Cyril Gutsch, one of the founders of Parley for the Ocean initiative says that plastic is a faulty resource to start with, a faulty invention. What’s your take on that?
DOP: Parley for the Ocean initiative also works with plastic. They just teamed up with Adidas for the realization of the first shoes made out of plastic from the Ocean.
FAP: For them that’s an intermediate step to use what’s already there. Their ultimate goal is to abandon plastic altogether.
DOP: Plastic is a good material when it comes to its durability. However any item that’s for single use only is a bad habit, such as plastic forks, cups and plates for example.
FAP: Why do you think Dopper is a good product to educate people on using less plastic?
DOP: Dopper is a sustainable water bottle. Half the people who carry one of our bottles are aware of its sustainable concept, half of them just carry it as a fashionable item, just like your phone and laptop. I wanted it to be a beautiful product because beauty makes people feel good. Yet plenty of work is remains to be done. The key to the future is when people are conscious about what they buy. Responsible behavior has become quite trendy nowadays. Investing money in good products is a statement of a good investment that you will be able to keep for a long time. People are starting to get more aware and concerned about their environment, and that is good sign!
FAP: What is the difference between Dopper and other reusable water bottles?
DOP: When I started Dopper six years ago, I realized that what was making it different form other bottles was its story. In addition to the bottle we continually team up with other sustainable brands and ceate events where we raise awareness on a multitude of sustainable topics such as travel, housing and access to clean tap water. We have our own foundation and are currently working in Nepal and Brazil on projects that foster access to clean tap water for everyone. There is a whole world “outside of the bottle” that is our mission and this makes us unique compared to other brands.
FAP: Is Dopper a fashion item?
DOP: Dopper is a fashion and lifestyle item. When you leave your house you check that you have your phone, laptop and your Dopper bottle with you. We are involved in several fashion events and fashion weeks and work with Pharrell Williams at G-Star. We are part of New York Fashion Week and Amsterdam Fashion Week. We also work with BMW in the Netherlands and soon with Tesla in the USA.
FAP: What is your ultimate goal?
DOP: The ideal scenario is that everybody in the world has access to clean tap water and at the same time that we do not need single use plastic bottles. I would like to see all single use plastic bottles eliminated from the supermarkets and replaced with Dopper.
Thirsty for more? Visit the Dopper website.
Interview: Margaux Lombard
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