Plastic Noodler’s Bottles? Yes, For Now…

Long story short, Noodler’s Ink is switching from glass to plastic bottles for their 3oz fountain pen inks because of supply constraints, at least for the next several months.

Stock will be mixed — we’ll do our best to update product descriptions on our site, but we may not be able to guarantee anything. The plastic bottles should hold slightly more ink, so that will provide even more ink value for you in the interim.

As of this blog post (August 19, 2015), we don’t have any of the plastic bottles here but we expect to see a transition in the next few weeks depending on the distributor’s supply. The 1oz and the 4.5oz bottles shouldn’t be affected.

Thanks for your understanding!

Write On,
Rachel Goulet

2017-10-06T19:01:36+00:00 August 19th, 2015|Pen News|71 Comments
  • Soren

    A 10 minute video to say he’s switching from glass to plastic bottles… Classic Nathan!

    • David

      A 10 minute video to explain COMPLETELY and PRECISELY why he is being forced to make this change, and what may happen in the future. The explanation is clearly enunciated – English is not everyone’s first language. Thank you Nathan.

      • Katherine Stewart

        I especially enjoyed the presentation of the difference in the volume of the ink! My cup runneth over!

  • Katherine Stewart

    This is just one of the reasons I like Nathan! Rather than just up the price, he found a way to not only keep the price down, but give even more value for the money! Yes I like glass too, but the right kind of plastic will work, and perhaps he can switch back some day in the future.

    • Ruben

      I agree! As long as the plastic bottles can hold the ink for a reasonable amount of time without falling apart I couldn’t care less what they are made of. It’s nice that we are also getting more ink too.

      • Tom Johnson

        I agree with both of you! I just love it when Nathan makes decisions like this. I have so many Noodler’s bottles already that I’ll have plenty of glass bottles to reuse, and I like the idea of plastic bottles anyway.

    • Madigan

      Hi Katherine! He definitely has his customer in mind. It’s great that he was able to come up with a solution that kept prices done and ink volume up! 🙂

    • Ted

      The “cost” of a product should also include the impact of its production and disposal on the environment. Mr. Tardiff’s calculations (and conception of American integrity) in this class are limited only to the price charged to the consumer. I consider that a narrow conception. I don’t consider it an act of treason to increase prices, especially if you are going to try to include environmental costs. He will either eventually do it, or sell the company and enjoy the earnings he made from selling his inks and pens to us for a profit. I don’t see any deep principle here.

      • skindoc

        How do you know the plastic bottle can’t be recycled? It can be reused, too, just like the glass one, for mixing inks or whatever other purpose. So I don’t see any damage to The Environment from this decision. What I do sense is a hostility to the free market economic system that Nathan has the bravery to defend, considering where he lives.

        • Jared

          Nailed it, skindoc!

        • Ted

          Perhaps they can be recycled. Are you willing to feed your children out of bottles made of anything? And what do you have to say about the the byproducts of the manufacturing process? Are you denying that toxicity should be a consideration for the manufacturing or sale of a product? I like capitalism just fine, by the way. I would simply rather pay more for a product that is less environmentally damaging. For example, the Goulet sample vials are not recyclable. They should look for a new product, in my opinion. Even if it costs more.

          • Katherine Stewart

            The argument of being willing to feed children out of former ink bottles is a bit extreme, both plastic and glass can be re used to put more ink in but as far as putting food in a 3 oz bottle? I’m not sure why you chose that as an argument for glass vs plastic. Most plastics can be recycled by being ground and reformed into a different product, or directly into what it was before. Ink bottles have no need to be food grade quality since they aren’t intended to be used in that way. Nathan is not responsible for by products of the container, the manufacturer is. Glass production also has some impact on the environment. Nathan isn’t responsible for that either. Toxicity should be a factor, but it isn’t the only factor to consider.

          • Ted

            Thanks, Katharine. I didn’t mean to literally drink from ink bottles, and I have been asking mostly about production environmental costs. Plastics, by the way, do leech components into the soil and when burned release contaminates into the atmosphere (burned, as much trash is these days). And I disagree about the consumer (or middle supplier) having no responsibility for the byproducts of the wares the he/she peddles or purchases. I most strongly disagree with you on that! Demand and production are inevitably linked–including in ethics. Coffee drinkers (I am one) who want the cheapest prices bear some responsibility for the pressures on growers to find the cheapest methods of production (as an example). The tobacco industry exists because we smoke it. Purchases are not made in ethic vacuums. Everything is a choice with consequences, whether we acknowledge them or not.

          • Flarn Buckholter

            Ted, you might be better off moving out of your home (which is a HUGE waste of electricity) and living in a cave. Don’t use fire because that pollutes! Eat algae off of rocks and try to hold your breath because you’re just spewing CO2 right into the atmosphere!

            And if you try really hard, you’ll save enough pollution to make up for 0.0013 seconds of one of China’s thousands of coal-fired power plants.

            In the meantime, we will be enjoying Noodler’s in plastic bottles that can be easily recycled into other useful items (like pens!).

          • Ted

            If you think that you can’t make a difference for the future of this planet, then that is your choice. I choose not to take that position, not with consumption nor with kindness. Every tiny act makes a difference to someone, sometime. It makes a difference to your own soul, to begin with.

          • Chris Chaplow

            I’m with you Ted.

  • Craig Windt

    I will miss the glass bottle, but I completely agree with the decision.

    • Madigan

      Hi Craig! I agree with you here. Kind of a bummer, but at least the price will stay the same and you’ll get a little more ink. 🙂

  • Jared

    Still more evidence why Nathan has become one of my personal American heroes! I have no trouble with this , given the circumstances.

    • Madigan

      Hey Jared! Yeah, it’s really great that he explains everything. It makes a lot of sense. 🙂

  • wilsonhines

    When does this take effect? In other words, if we order a bottle today, or for how long, does it remain glass?

    • Madigan

      We’re not entirely sure. We only have glass bottles in stock right now but the next shipment we receive will be mixed. We can’t say right now which inks will come in which bottle. 🙁

      • wilsonhines

        Thanks for the answer.

  • kevin-landon@comcast.net

    Nathan is a gem! I am just stunned that he does not blow the glass himself for the bottles as well as everything else he does.

    • Madigan

      Haha! Now that would be impressive… 🙂

  • aleowr

    How about not filling the ink to the rim in every bottle and spending some time to find a better shape? I love Noodler’s ink, but the bottles are terrible, glass or plastic.

    • Amelia

      I agree about not filling them entirely to the brim. The 1st two fills always make me nervous! And I was forewarned about the level — I imagine a lot of people haven’t a clue, open the bottle, and oopsie!

      • aleowr

        I was warned when I bought my first bottle and still spilled. yuck! Now I use a syringe until the level falls a bit.

    • Madigan

      Hi aleowr! Nathan always tries to give you the most for your money… although that can make it a bit precarious when filling. Maybe try ink samples instead?

      • aleowr

        Yeah I use samples once a bottle gets too low. Just annoying. Wish he would consider a more functional design like the Lamy bottles. They are great!

    • Katherine Stewart

      In the video he said that it won’t be clear up to the very brim, but will still give more ink that is currently in the glass bottle.

      • aleowr

        That’s good to hear. Didn’t bother to watch the video. If want political ranting, I’ll visit HuffPo or RedState, thank you. Still wish the bottle wasn’t so tall and narrow tho.

        • Katherine Stewart

          No political ranting, just an explanation of why the switch was happening. His suppliers don’t want to make the 3 oz bottle any more, they wanted to charge him more for a bottle that holds less ink, rather than pass that along to the consumer (us!) he opted to go with a plastic product. Oh and the 1 oz and the 4.5 oz are remaining in glass.

  • Tas Kyprianou

    A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. Love him . . .

    • Madigan

      Agreed, Tas! 🙂

  • I love that the man has his reasons and will take the time to explain them. Some of his rhetoric might be a little over-the-top (but entertaining!), but at the end of the day he’s more dedicated to giving people a good product for a good value than any other business person I’ve ever known. You’ve gotta respect that. We’ll be just fine with the plastic, Nathan. Thanks for being you and doing what you do.

    • Madigan

      Hi Sam! He is certainly passionate about what he does and doing right by his customer. 🙂

  • Gary

    Personally, I’d prefer to pay a little more just to get the glass bottle. I’ve discussed in the fountain pen network why I don’t like plastic bottles. And I have empirical evidence to prove the error of that decision. I think it’s a real mistake and I bet the market will correct the error in his judgement. The market will vote for or against his decision, or he’ll just loose market share.

    • Madigan

      Understood. Well, hopefully it won’t be a permanent decision. Thanks for your input, Gary! 🙂

  • Adrian Chester

    Its the ink that is important, not the container. its worth noting that this is the company that refuses to sell its ink in carts due to the waste and environmental damage! Ill keep buying.

    • Madigan

      Good to know, Adrian! 🙂

  • Lyander0012

    I don’t have very many Noodler’s products, but I admire them and the man behind the scenes all the same. Most manufacturers wouldn’t go through so much trouble to explain the switch from glass to plastic bottles, but Nathan took the time to anyway. And the extra ink capacity is definitely welcome!

    P.S.
    About Noodler’s inks being filled to the brim: Yeah, I left a pretty nice splotch of bulletproof ink on my desk when I got my first bottle. I make sure to fill one of my big-capacity pens first every time I get a new bottle to drop the ink levels as fast as I can without actually wasting any ink, haha.

    • Madigan

      Hi Kevin! Yeah, it’s really helpful that he explained the situation. Sorry about the spill! 🙂

      • Lyander0012

        Yup, I’m considering stocking up on his bulletproof line just for the heck of it since those inks are great. Also, I decided my desk looks nicer as an impressionist painting!

  • I just watched the video this morning after seeing it there on my youtube. I’ll support Nathan whatever he decides to do. Plastic, glass…as long as I get the ink I’m a happy man.

    • Madigan

      Hi Kenny! Absolutely! The ink is the important part. 🙂

  • David

    I try to reuse the bottles for mixed inks etc., does the ink stain the plastic bottles?

    • Madigan

      Hi David! Since we haven’t actually seen them yet, we can’t be sure. If you are at all worried, why don’t you check out our empty bottles? That way you can be sure that your ink mixes will turn out how you want them. 🙂 http://www.gouletpens.com/empty-ink-bottles/c/306

  • KenouniRenashin

    I think it’s a good idea. I mean, Diamine’s 30ml bottles are plastic and my gosh, I’m always dropping them. Glass would’ve broken by now. And I have about 15 of those and I haven’t experience evaporation or whatever. I do like that he’s gone to the effort to make sure that the customers don’t lose out though. Finally, as others and the man himself have said, it’s the ink that’s important, not the container.

    • Madigan

      Hey there! Good point! Plastic is certainly more shatter resistant. 🙂

  • Chris Chaplow

    I hate to say it but I will be less likely to purchase the plastic bottled ink.

    • Flarn Buckholter

      If you really need pretty glass bottles, there are many other brands such as Iroshizuku, where arbitrary price increases without any justification other than pure profit drive the cost of the ink. You won’t find any of that in Nathan Tardiff’s backyard. You’re getting Mark Twain-era Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court-style ingenuity in keeping down customer costs.

      • Chris Chaplow

        I obviously don’t “need” glass bottles and I don’t appreciate your passive aggressive comments.
        I understand that it is the ink that is important but to me the presentation is also important. It is kind of like going to a nice restaurant and having your food served on a plastic or paper plate. It’s the food that is important right? It shouldn’t matter what it is served on as long as it is clean. But it does matter. I would happily pay extra for my food to be served on a proper plate and for my ink to be in glass bottles.
        I would assume that the plastic bottles are considerably cheaper than the glass. Will there be a price decrease; I doubt it. Or maybe the small amount of extra ink makes it a wash; I doubt it.
        I really do like Noodlers as a company and their products. I would have payed a little more for less ink in glass bottles. Maybe I’m in the minority. We all have our preferences.

  • Randy R

    Bravo and my thanks to Nathan Tardiff!

    I, too, prefer the glass bottles but it is truly the ink I’m after. As much as I appreciate Nathan’s ink, I also appreciate him, his integrity, ethics, and willingness to fight for all of that and for us. And the fact that he goes out of his way to share his logic with us in a 10 minute video!

    I own and love several Noodler’s pens and more Noodler’s ink than I’ll ever use up. The pleasure in I find in Noodler’s ink is far greater than its container or the quantity, it’s also its performance, reliability and the diversity (the range) of colors. I would add that they also provide an appreciated lesson in history and in solid business practice!

    I plan to buy at least one more (yeah, right, as if I could actually stop at that point) bottle of Noodler’s ink (Black Swan in Australian Roses if/when Goulet Pens restocks — hint hint!) and will actively seek out one of the plastic bottles for no other reason than I would like to join the battle with him even if it’s only in a small way. Every time I see/use that bottle, I’ll remember that businessmen like Nathan Tardiff (and the Goulet’s) exist and need to be supported too.

    Thank you Goulets. Thank you Nathan. Godspeed!

  • mobalter

    Actually no. The whole FP experience is much about tactile feelings and aesthetics. The share of those may vary for every FP person out there. But one sould not neglect them.
    Glass ink bottles is important part of this experience, really.
    You may rationalise and agree with Nathan (whom I like and respect much and really look up to) as much as you wish. But can you really get rid of this feeling that something important is gonna get missing?

    • S

      You are correct that tactile feelings and aesthetics make up a large part of the FP experience. I would counter, however, that Nathan’s strategy goes about it in a down-to-earth, non-luxurious way. His pens are super cheap and nibs are very plain. His glass bottles were pretty basic and almost ugly compared to something like Pilot’s Iroshizuku. Yet, that’s what made them appealing and different for me. They’re pens and ink for the common man who wants to write well without the frills and flash. I think these plastic bottles are nothing to write home about, but I find them charming in that way. How we experience FP-related stuff is all subjective, however, I say that Nathan has carved himself an interesting aesthetic and economic niche and these plastic bottles align with it.

      • Randy R

        Agreed.

        Face it. Some folks desire function; some desire form; some desire value and balance the functionality and the form. In my humble opinion, Nathan provides some of each in a good balance. As I said in an earlier post, I too prefer the glass over the plastic, but I very much appreciate Nathan’s attempts to keep Fountain Pens, Nibs and Ink available and popular among the humble common “man” and not just the elite.

    • Katherine Stewart

      The ink can always be decanted into a glass container of your choice, like the Twsbi inkwell for instance.

      • Ted

        Yes, but then please be environmentally responsible with the leftover plastic. It hurts the world. We should produce and use less plastic.

        • Katherine Stewart

          Of course! We recycle in a big way here at my home, and a plastic bottle can be put to other uses as well. First thing I’ll do with my first empty plastic Noodler’s bottle will be to put my paperclips and push pins in it. I haven’t emptied any of my glass ones yet!

  • S

    I support Nathan’s decision. He’s given us more ink and kept prices low. As long as the plastic holds ink reasonably well and long, it works as a fine container for ink. For those concerned with the environmental impact of the manufacture and disposal of the plastic bottles (*cough* Ted), I personally think that our niche community of enthusiasts will only contribute to plastic waste to a negligible degree. I’ve purchased 3 bottles of Noodler’s Ink in the last 3 years, and they’re all still more than half full. If a fraction of us switched from drinking water bottles to drinking tap from reusable bottles, we would probably offset Nathan’s switch to plastic.

    While I like the look and feel of glass bottles over plastic, I don’t mind the switch for Noodler’s inks. I don’t buy Noodler’s ink because it’s fancy or luxurious. I like it’s super low price point, basic packaging, Nathan’s down-to-earth style, and the charming appeal of bare functionality. If anything, these basic, throwback Tylenol bottles seem fitting. She ain’t pretty, but she gets the job done.

  • Kaushal Kanikaram

    Does this apply to Liberty’s Elysium?

  • Flarn Buckholter

    “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.” Every good New Englander knows this old thrifty saw and Nathan is one of the chief adherents of “value to the customer.” I’ve been a loyal fan of his inks for years and own over a dozen of his inks. If getting Noodler’s means getting it in plastic pouches, pop top bottles or tetra pak bricks, sign me up!

    You take a 90ml bottle of Noodler’s ink, dilute it 20 to 30% to increase flow and shading and you’re getting about 100+ refills out of a single bottle. If we get a few more mls of ink then that’s just more value for us!

    Even better, the Goulets won’t have to worry as much about bottle breakage and reduced shipping hazards means less overhead for them. Everyone wins.

  • RandomCommenter7

    I don’t think this is a big deal. Sure, the glass bottles are nicer, but hey, don’t throw out your old Noodler’s bottles and then just decant the ink from the new plastic bottles to the old glass ones.

  • Ted

    The Tardif worship here is surprising, and unsurprising, at the same time. First, it is not true that he gives purchasers the most value for their money that he can, so I am surprised that anyone would say this (he gives the value that he chooses to within an acceptable limit for remuneration to his company). Unsurprising, however, that this flattery would be reinforced by an employee of a company that is a major vendor for the line of inks. I actually like some Noodler’s inks quite a lot, but I certainly don’t turn his $12.50 per 3 oz bottle (or cheap pens manufactured in India) into a righteous crusade for the common man, despite whatever some of his youtube comments might suggest. Be careful how you impute capitalism and profit-seeking with moral rectitude: one is often burned.

  • Cui Bono

    I cannot comment on the emotive or profit vs economic rent discussions that preceded. I am only interested in the integrity of delivered product. “Plastic” is an insufficient descriptor to determine chemical interactions, short or long term, with the ink and the container. With glass, that is well understood. Various plastic composition- in the polymerized state, or in aging monomer agent release, have little if any study with these ink compositions. From a sustainment engineering viewpoint- without recycle, disposal exposures of any plastics makes no sense.

  • Saz

    Is this something that is only happening at Goblet or with ALL of the noodlers 3oz bottles sold everywhere? I must say that I am very sad to hear this. I understand it from a cost standpoint, but glass ink bottles are very nostalgic and beautiful. Just as another posy said, they are like jewelry to some people (including myself). I also never thought of the plastic possibly having a chemical effect on the ink as well. I really hope this isn’t permanent!!!!!

  • InkShouldBeInGlass

    The issue as I see it is that Noodler’s wants bottles designed to hold imperial measures, not metric ones. In the past there were 4, now there are none. All the European and Japanese inks come in glass, so if he was willing to measure his ink out in mL then he’d have lots of options for glass bottles as he could source them globally.

    I don’t understand his reluctance to embrace metric. The US is only one of three countries on the planet that haven’t switched. Those plastic bottles look more like something prescription pills come in! Plus we really don’t know how well the plastic protects the ink.

    I agree that the aesthetics are important, so unless I can get it in glass, I won’t be buying any Noodlers.

  • Andy

    Wow, I was very dismayed to find out that my latest order of Noodler’s ink came in plastic bottles.
    I was actually going to use them as a present to an FP neophyte.

    Needless to say, I’ll have to look for something else as a present.
    Hoping that Nathan will change his decision. On to Diamines and DeAtries for now…

  • OscarTheGrouch

    In the comments on the video, Nathan Tardif (Username InkNeedLastForever) said that glass will be returning soon!

    • bridgebuilder78

      woohoo!