EcoPro were launched as TAPP 2 Twist and TAPP 2 Click at the end of 2018 based on 3 years of research and development. In January this year we launched generation 4 of EcoPro and generation 2 of EcoPro Compact. In this article we will explain why and how we've improved EcoPro to make the product better for you and more sustainable for the planet.
TAPP Water Filter 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 EcoPro annual subscription for as little as €89 meaning an average monthly cost of €7 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 reusable and recyclable
Since then more than 30,000 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/handle.
- 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 EcoPro at home. Our goal was to solve all the common issues including the hot water sensitive biodegradable cartridges, breaking switches, reusing the plastic casing of the cartridges, spray-flow, app issues for EcoPro, better e-mail reminders, enhanced impact stats, more robust packaging and more.
Designing and producing the improved version of EcoPro
The result of the past 4 years effort is generation 4 of EcoPro which includes the following enhancements:
Vastly improved quality
Reliability is everything. Our customers must be able to rely on EcoPro delivering clean tap water every day for years. The new product has been tested with real simulation of over 5 years of use, which means switching the filter on and off more than 15,000 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 used inside the carbon block that breaks down the mineral to prevent limescale from forming and further reduce heavy metals. Previously EcoPro only reduced limescale the first couple of weeks. With the improved version EcoPro reduces limescale with 80% up to 3 months*.
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. EcoPro generation 4 is the most sustainable faucet water filter available today.
The older version of EcoPro 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
Full backward compatible
The new refill cartridges for TAPP 2 works with the old version and vice versa so all filters and refill cartridges can still be used without issues.
How do you dispose of your EcoPro cartridges going forward?
This is the good news, because we’ve made it much easier.
Unscrew the cartridge open in reverse and:
- Dispose the cartridge including the carbon block, lids and wrapper with your normal / rest waste (you can also separate them of course)
- Keep the plastic casing for further uses
- At the end of the life of the cartridge casing 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 generation 4 of EcoPro available?
EcoPro generation 4 is available from the 15th of January 2023 but will be introduced over time to customers depending on existing inventories.
My EcoPro has broken
If you have issues with your existing EcoPro 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
* Note: EcoPro reduces limescale by 80% but does not reduce water hardness or TDS (total dissolved substances) including calcium and magnesium. All the healthy minerals remain but limescale is prevented from forming.