NEWater Packaging Reimagined

Singapore Green Plan
4 min readSep 27, 2023

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One of Singapore’s Four National Taps, NEWater has had several glow-ups since its launch at National Day Parade 2002, with its packaging getting a facelift with reusable polypropylene plastic, and paper carton in the last couple of years.

As part of PUB Splash Lab 3.0, a competition aimed at engaging youths on water issues and instilling positive behavioural change, students from Singapore’s five polytechnics embarked on a mission to reimagine the packaging for NEWater. The programme challenged young minds to think outside the box and explore new eco-friendly, cost-effective and creative possibilities. Here are some of their ideas!

3rd Place — Team Endeavour (Singapore Polytechnic)

Team Endeavour members: Sebastian Ho Kok Hugh (left), Denise Yeo Sok Hiang (right), Esen Raul Mahendran (not present)

Taking inspiration from PUB’s slogan to ‘Make Every Drop Count’, the students from Team Endeavour (Singapore Polytechnic), designed a teardrop shaped bottle with reusability in mind. The handle and cap design (see picture above) also drew inspiration from traditional water pots that were used to collect rainwater, as a nod towards Singapore’s history with water.

The team also took it a step further to consider distribution methods. They proposed installing vending machines at areas with high foot traffic to cater to tourists and joggers. Their unique vending machine would also include a water dispenser to encourage consumers to refill their bottles.

Despite their background in Chemical Engineering and Perfumery and Cosmetics courses, the team wanted to pick up the challenge not just to test their knowledge, but contribute to a more sustainable future.

“Personally, I want to make the world a better place than it was yesterday,” explained Sebastian when asked about what inspired him for this project.

2nd Place — Team Bottles Up (Ngee Ann Polytechnic)

Team Bottles Up members: Sheehan Teo Velasquez (left), Kevyn Ko Jie Lun (right), De Leon OJ Thomas Casil (not present), Darren Ang Yen Hon (not present)

Team Bottles Up (Ngee Ann Polytechnic) took a different approach for their bottle design, emphasising durability and versatility. While other teams used paper or plastic materials, they went a different direction instead: stainless steel.

Their modular 2-cap bottle design has a narrower bottle top which is removable. Its cylindrical shape is ergonomically designed to fit the hand, with ridges along the sides for a better grip.

“We looked at the designs from previous (NEWater) bottles and we found that the challenge was washing it, especially since the cap was too small,” explained Kevyn.

The road to developing their idea was not without challenges. When asked about his experience with the competition, Sheehan explained, “We’re Life Science students, so picking and learning new 3D software was quite new. But overall, it was a fun and rewarding journey.”

1st Place — Team Vessel (Singapore Polytechnic)

Team Vessel members: Moe Yan Htut Thwin (left), Tang Zi Yang (right)

This dynamic duo clinched first place with their Legacy Water Bottle design. Although the prototype looks like a simple bottle, meticulous research was done to ensure that the design and materials are consumer-friendly and sustainable.

The team took an engineering approach to redesigning the NEWater packaging. Not only does the hexagonal design make it easier to grip the bottle, it made the bottle tougher too, protecting against dents during delivery or use. “Our 6-sided model has an 66.7% increase in strength compared to a regular 4-sided carton bottle,” explained Moe Yan, who led the design portion of their project. They proposed for the body to be made of aseptic carton — the same material as the current NEWater bottle — and a bottle cap made of Polylactic Acid (PLA) biopolymer derived from sugarcane, a biodegradable material.

The pair took the initiative to visit the NEWater Visitor Centre during their research, where they learned more about water conservation and the current NEWater bottle packaging. The final design was chosen after making sure that the bottle could be easily recycled after use and result in minimal carbon emissions if incinerated.

“I think this (competition) was a good way to think creatively since we don’t really design much (in school), and we also got to learn more about the environment along the way,” said Zi Yang when asked if he enjoyed the competition.

Curious to find out more about the other Splash Lab winners? Stay tuned for more content, coming soon!

#MakeEveryDropCount #SustainableFuture #SGGreenPlan #PUBSplashLab

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Singapore Green Plan

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