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R CUBE NORD reinvents deposit with Jean Bouteille

4. Environment

Green design


The return of paying deposits on bottles – that’s the gamble of Gerard Bellet. He created his startup R Cube Nord in 2012 and launched the brand Jean Bouteille in 2014. Based on the principles of the circular economy, Jean Bouteille offers two modes of consumption: comestible liquids in bulk and consignment. Installed in the Mutualab shared workspace in Lille, the company offers an alternative mode of consumption.


  •  Break with the overconsumption of the “Glorious 30 Years” and reduce the impact of single-use packaging through the 3 Rs: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
  •  Allow the consumption of liquid food products without generating wastes.
  •  Extend the Jean Bouteille brand in the region and then nationally.
  •  Extend the range of liquid products sold in bulk and attract a new clientele.



The principle was created by Jean Bouteille in 2004 thanks to a successful crowd-funding campaign that raised 21,077€. The concept relies on the installation of bottling machines in partner stores.
A deposit of 1% covers the delivery and cleaning of bottles with a biodegradable process that is more efficient than thermal sterilization. Each store choses the products that it wants to distribute in bulk, based on recommendations provided by Jean Bouteille. The bottles are then made available in several formats to satisfy customer expectations. The company also offers a unique service through direct contact with each store by weekly visits and tracking of product sales to ensure the maintenance of the equipment.
By proposing the usage of the bottles sold in addition to the product itself, Jean Bouteille promotes the circular economy and encourages stores to become players in this channel.


  •  For customer stores: the average gross margins for the store on the products sold in bulk are above 30% to 45%.
  •  For R Cube Nord: increase in the number of customers (today at 8), with bottlers installed in 10 stores.


  •  2014: 4,109 bottles on consignment in 1 store test ; 2470 kg of waste avoided for the township.
  •  Sale in bulk prevents lost packaging. The washing of bottles consumes half as much water as required to produce new bottles.
  •  R Cube Nord favors suppliers that respect the environment:  bottle supplier certified ISO 14001, using bottler made of PEFC raw wood with the minimum of Volatile Organic Compounds.  
  •  2 physically challenged employees hired to clean the bottles.
3 personnes (2015)
46 122€ (2014)


Gérard Bellet, fondateur, 06 44 76 17 82, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mise à jour le 02/10/2017

Creative Commons Attribution This work by Réseau Alliances – World Forum Lille is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.