Most people realize that plastic water bottles are bad for the environment, not only because research suggests it takes 2000 times more energy to produce bottled water than tap water but also because so many of them are not recycled. You may choose to filter your own water or just go without, but a new environmentally friendly solution may mean you can continue to drink bottled water and keep a clear conscience.

The 360 Paper Water bottle is an innovative, single-serve water bottle made from 100% renewable material - yes, it's paper - or more specifically bamboo or palm leaves. Made from sustainable sheet stock such as bamboo, the bottle features a lid which peels off into two pieces, one piece keeps the top clean from dust or other contaminants and the other can be reattached to seal the bottle. As the bottles can be produced on a single line and bundled for shipping, extra packaging can be eliminated, making this bottle a very cool environmental solution to reducing the number of plastic bottles.

As the name suggests, the bottle is made from recyclable paper - or sustainable sheet stock such as bamboo or palm leaves- if you want to be more precise. Very clever idea indeed, but there’s more to this innovation than meets the eye. The design of the bottle allows for self bundling, which eliminates the need for separate six pack packaging or extra shipping containers and therefore reduces the cost on the environment.

The 360 Bottle was designed by New York designer and inventor, Jim Warner.

"Here in the US 60 million plastic bottles are thrown out each year,” Mr Warner said.

“Only 14 per cent are recycled. I wanted to create something that challenged the ‘norms’ and was sustainable, elegant and practical.”

Made with 90-95% reduction of polymer, the single-serve water bottle is made from two pieces which are fused together by a micro-thin PLA (polylactic acid) which provides a liquid and air barrier. Rather than being unscrewed, the lid is peeled off and separated. One half becomes a drinking unit which is plug-fitted into the bottle to keep the bottle dust-free. The other half is attached to a finger loop and is used to re-seal the bottle.

The manufacturing process allows the bottles to be produced in a single line. They can then by bundled together in a group of six or more and can be carried as one unit by the finger loops. Therefore, additional packaging can be eliminated. The bottles can also be prepared for shipping in large groups of four, using eco-friendly material, without having to use further outer packaging.

This design has taken out INNOVIC’s International Next Big Thing Award for 2009 - a global competition to find and showcase the best new Australian and international innovations.