The Reusable Origami Bottle

The Reusable Origami Bottle

July 27, 2020

The reusable bottle may never be the same.  DiFOLD has developed a bottle that is collapsible, and named it the Origami bottle.

One use of this bottle is for water.  The bottle can be folded easily and carried in collapsed form in a backpack or purse.  The user can then fill the container from a drinking fountain or refill station.  This would eliminate the need to purchase a plastic bottle of water.

The Origami bottle offers several features.  It is made from a plant-based material, whereas many competitor products use petroleum in their production.  This bottle’s material is easily recycled.  It is also durable.

Another use of this product is to refill it with other liquids besides water, leading to the nickname of ‘the Milk Man model’.   Although not as common today, at one point in time it was very common for milk to be delivered in reusable glass bottles.  The origami bottle hopes to replicate this approach by having customers bring back the bottle to the store to be refilled at the store.  Or it could be returned in collapsed form to a facility to be refilled.


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Rare Earth Elements and the Triple Bottom Line

Rare Earth Elements and the Triple Bottom Line

July 10, 2020

COVID-19’s impact on supply chains has brought attention to the United States’ reliance on China and other countries for manufacturing critical items using Rare Earth Elements (REE).

REE materials are needed to make hybrid car batteries, computer touch screens, and special magnets used in the defense of the nation. The issue arose from environmental regulations that begin in the 1960s to the 1980s.  As costs rose to make products using REE in the United States, manufacturing shifted to other countries.


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This post is based on the Supply Chain Brain article, It’s Time to Reconsider the Math on Rare Earth Elements, by Shubho Chatterjee and Joe Carson, May 19, 2020, and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Image source: Peter Sobolev/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1.  What are options that the United States could consider to reshore REE manufacturing capability?

Guidance: REE manufacturing left the United States in part due to Triple Bottom Line considerations several decades ago.  This is a good general discussion question.  Students may argue Continue reading

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Fast Fashion Turns to Fast Trash

Fast Fashion Turns to Fast Trash

April 10, 2020

Ghana imports large amounts of secondhand clothing from the UK and other countries, but poor quality makes much of it unsaleable.  Over 50 tons a day, representing about forty percent of the items coming into Kantamanto, the main market, end up being thrown away.

Landfill sites in Ghana are overflowing with the debris.  Low quality fast fashion items, cheap single use t-shirts from marathons or other special events, and unclean items have little to no value in the resale market.  Vendors gamble, buying their bales of used clothing sight unseen, and hope for the best.  Sadly, much of what they purchase will be thrown away, making Ghana and other African countries a dumping ground for other countries’ unwanted textile waste.


Video Spotlight: How fast fashion choices in the the UK are causing an environmental catastrophe in Ghana (Feb 18, 2020, ITV News)


This post is based on the Daily Mail article, The fast fashion trash mountain: Shocking report reveals today’s cheap clothes are so badly made they often can’t be resold—and end up rotting into a toxic soup in Africa, by Barbara Davies, February 25, 2020, and the YouTube video featured in Continue reading

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