The 4th annual Cradle to Cradle Product Design Challenge just announced its winners, and Mallory Barrett, a student at North Carolina State University, was awarded Best Student Project. The national competition recognizes products that embody the organization’s sustainability mission; 162 designers across 19 countries submitted work.
Barrett submitted an innovative prescription bottle design she calls REX to reduce unnecessary plastic waste. “The inspiration for the design of REX was my own frustration with the cycle of wastefulness in which our world has become so comfortable with,” she says. “Billions of prescriptions are filled each year in America alone.”
The NC State student designed a bottled manufactured out of recycled stainless steel that supports the lifecycle of the container and can endure many rounds of sterilization. A card with the prescription information is slipped into a label holder without using toxic adhesives, making the labels biodegradable and shortening the time required for sterilization. She estimates that the bottle only needs to be reused 14 times to offset the cost compared to a plastic bottle production.
“REX is a product that I would be ecstatic to bring to market, both for my own feelings of accomplishment but primarily due to the fact that it would result in a dramatic decrease in new material consumption,” says Barrett.