Our challenge was to design sustainable prescription packaging that does not harm the environment. Rejecting the use of plastic, our brief called for an earth-friendly paper bottle that also meets FDA regulations for protection, durability, and safety.
After all, plastic pill bottles are a big problem in the United States. The fact is that these prescription medication bottles are too small to be recycled. So, 4-5 billion polyethylene bottles go straight to landfills and ocean dumps each year. Toxic waste that ends up devastating our natural ecosystem.
It’s a really simple idea. But designing it, not so simple. We looked at paper tubes, barrels, and boxes. Then explored and tested a series of designs before ultimately deciding on one winning design.
Introducing the Prescription Paper Pill Bottle. Made of 100% compostable and biodegradable paper, the bottle contains no plastic, artificial glue, toxic dyes, or coatings. And it meets FDA regulations for water, light, and child resistance.
Once emptied, all the elements of the bottle can be tossed into local composts to decompose and enrich the planet’s soil instead of polluting it.
Produced in conjunction with our client and partner, TOM: Tikkun Olam Makers, the global movement of makers and innovators, the bottle’s open-source design is available to anyone and any pharmacy at tomglobal.org for manufacturing at any maker space and print shop.
The new prescription bottle was supported by campaign materials in social media and outdoor posters driving pharmacists to download the prototype and give patients filling their prescriptions a sustainable packaging option.
Resulting in a 24% increase in site traffic and producing more than 54 million media impressions in under two months, the design and promotion have elevated the conversation of sustainability in healthcare. Demonstrating that medications good for your health can now come in packaging that’s also good for the planet.