Why and how we improved TAPP 2 and made it more sustainable
TAPP 2 Twist and Click were launched at the end of 2018 based on 3 years of research and development. This year it was time for an update and this is why and how we’ve improved TAPP 2 to make the product better for you and more sustainable for the planet.
TAPP 2 Ambition and Goals
We put a huge amount of effort in ensuring that the product would be simple to use and deliver clean tasty tap water in an affordable and sustainable way.
- Simple to use by ensuring that anyone can install and use the product without the need for a plumber or much technical knowledge
- Clean tasty tap water by using the best carbon block technology available, removing 70+ contaminants and vastly improving the taste of any tap water
- Affordable by selling the TAPP 2 annual subscription for as little as €79 meaning an average monthly cost of €6.50 for the first year and €5 per month from the second year and beyond
- Sustainable by not only replacing an average of 1000 bottles per household and year but also ensuring that the cartridges are made of biodegradable materials and thus leaving no plastic residue
Since then more than 25,000 people have bought the product and thereby jointly avoided buying more than 20 million bottles of water.
Generation 1 and 2 key learning’s
Of course not everything was perfect. Designing and developing new products is never easy. Our first generation filters had issues such as:
- Some cartridges broke with hot water or very high pressure due to the bioplastic we used (PLA) being more fragile than expected.
- Changes in the manufacturing tools throughout development created issues with the mechanism of the lever that switches filtering on and off, causing leakage in many filters.
- While biodegradable plastics was the best solution we could find at the time, it’s not necessarily the best solution for the environment.
- The recyclable cartridges introduced in January 2020 were better but not perceived as eco-friendly.
- Problems with the glue used in some productions caused a crack in the switch.
- The app and website required a lot of improvements to satisfy users.
How can we improve TAPP?
We listened to the feedback, complaints from customers and looked at how people use the TAPP 2 filters at home. Our goal was to solve all the common issues.
In addition to this, we found a new manufacturing partner in Shenzhen that would better meet our long term needs of making sustainable and high quality products.
Designing and producing the improved version of TAPP 2
The result of the past 2 years effort is a new and improved TAPP 2 which includes the following enhancements:
Vastly improved quality
Reliability is everything. Our customers must be able to rely on TAPP 2 delivering clean tap water every day for years. The new product has been tested with real simulation of over 2 years of use, which means switching the filter on and off more than 10,000 times and running tens of thousands of litres of water through it.
With the improved version, we added two filtration layers to vastly improve filtering. Simplified, the 5 stages now include:
Stage 1. Polypropylene screen wrapper (New)
This wraps around the carbon block and filters out larger microorganisms, sediment, silt, rust, scale particles and other impurities. It also protects the carbon block from being contaminated by human hands when it’s changed.
Stage 2: Activated Carbon Adsorption
The organic activated carbon removes chemical organic material, chlorine, chlorine byproducts (VOCs, THMs, HAAS, etc) taste, odor, pesticides, herbicides, PFAS and 50+ other contaminants. It also reduces heavy metals including lead, copper, mercury and more.
Stage 3: Carbon Block Microfiltration
The carbon block is highly compressed to prevent particles larger than 1-2 micrometers from passing through. This prevents for example all microplastics, suspended particles and most bacteria from passing through the filter. It also prevents most particles from pipe corrosion and biofilm (bacteria build inside the pipes) from passing through.
Stage 4: Limescale & heavy metal inhibition (New)
This is a proprietary formula (referred to as PSS) used inside the carbon block that breaks down the mineral to prevent limescale from forming and further reduce heavy metals. Previously we did about 50% and now this is increased to 80% reduction.
Stage 5: Strainer Mesh
Filters out hair, sand, dirt and other impurities from the pipes for the filtered water.
Recyclable and reusable plastic replaces biodegradable
Although it might sound counter-intuitive that biodegradable plastic is less environmentally-friendly than recyclable plastic, we have realised that is not always the case. Based on the challenges of composting biodegradable materials, we decided to replace the biodegradable shell of our refills with recyclable and BPA-free plastic.
This has several advantages, including:
- The casing is now made of standard highly recyclable ABS plastic that won’t break due to use
- The casing of the cartridge has an opening mechanism so that only the cartridge inside needs be replaced, reducing plastic waste by 85%
- Thanks to the new cartridge design the components can be separated and disposed of correctly
- There is no risk of contaminating plastic recycling with biodegradable plastics that are not recyclable
Overall it’s a big improvement for the product quality and the environment. TAPP 2 is the most sustainable faucet water filter available today.
The older version of TAPP 2 may cause some spray when using the filter with high pressure. For the improved version, we’ve enhanced the output hole so that the water flows more evenly.
Improved web and app platforms
We’ve upgraded the MyTAPP platform both on web, mobile and e-mail to deliver more accurate and engaging reminders as well as educational information. Check out the new MyTAPP if you haven’t already.
Full backward compatible
The new refill cartridges for TAPP 2 works with the old version and viceversa so all filters and refill cartridges can still be used without issues.
How do you dispose of your TAPP 2 cartridges going forward?
This is the good news, because we’ve made it much easier.
Twist the cartridge open and:
- Dispose the carbon block with your normal / rest waste
- Keep the plastic casing for further uses and, at the end of its life, dispose of it in the plastic recycling bin
Whereas we were previously dependent on industrial composting facilities and correct sorting of biodegradable plastics the new solution works everywhere for everyone where plastic recycling exists.
When is the improved version of TAPP 2 available?
It’s available from the 15th of August but will be introduced over time to customers depending on existing inventories.
My TAPP 2 has broken
If you have issues with your existing TAPP 2 filter then send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org including a video of the issue and the order number. If it’s a product issue, we will replace the water filter unit free of charge within 1-2 weeks.
Thank you for using TAPP Water products to reduce human impact on the planet. We will do our best to ensure that each and every one of our customers has the best possible experience.
The TAPP Water Team
July 28, 2020
Written by: Rocio