This reminded me of some of the discussion we have been having around sustainable packaging and my point of needing to re educate the public. This normal household kitchen cleaner comes as an empty bottle sold with concentrate. The user buys it, puts the concentrate in and then fill it with water. When the cleaner runs out then the user can go out and buy the concentrate for less that a new bottle
This is genius. It eliminates the water, given that the cleaner is probably 90%. It also gives the user the option to keep the bottle and just refill it.
water = weight, the less weight, the more savings you make in transportation and energy. Now if they could just design a bottle that packed flat, folded in half until it was ready to be used etc, then they’d decrease the transportation volume, so they could ship more for the same amount of energy (might need a really good marketing campaign to sell a flat bottle). Be very interested to find out how well it sells, how well the public take the concept and who the early adopters are.
Just had a 5 second thought around my last post and did a 5 minute sketch (you can tell it didn’t take any longer!!). A simple blow molding with a silicone dip tube could do the trick - have to be very careful on the engineering of the angles, and have a lot more concertinas. Anyone else got any better thoughts? Has this been done before?
It’s an awful concept, but the idea behind it hopefully had some good intent, or did it…
By removing the main liquid from the bottle you reduce the weight, so there must be an environmental saving. So surely if you can then reduce the volume of the bottle by half, being able to get double the amount of bottles into a shipment, must mean another saving, both monetarily and environmentally. However, thereâ€™s an additional assembly line process in collapsing the bottles for packing which takes extra energy (it may be possible to tool the bottle collapsed, but then you have to overcome plastic memory when extending the bottle and the tooling is much more complex) and a slight increase in material. How do I work out if the change Iâ€™ve made is better for the environment? There are so many variables (especially the deeper you go). Good intent is not necessarily that good at all. Does anyone know of a website/book, that lists the variables so that designers with good intent can work out if they are actually doing good at all?
So surely if you can then reduce the volume of the bottle by half, being able to get double the amount of bottles into a shipment, must mean another saving, both monetarily and environmentally.
If the consumer is required to add concentrate to water, simply supply a bottle of half the volume.
Alternately, the customer buys their own “full-size” pump bottle in the housewares section of the store, and purchases a pouch (with pinch closure) of concentrate whenever it is needed.
At our house we now use heavy cloth bags to carry groceries home; it took awhile to get used to remembering to drag them to the store, but we learned. The same behavior could be “taught” to consumers for liquids that need to be sprayed.
From a safety point of view, labeling might be an issue with this arrangement; perhaps the product label could be designed to be peeled-off, and re-applied to the generic container.
I really like this idea. This is the same thinking that needs to be applied to many thing we do on a daily basis. I mentioned it earlier in a blog post that I do not understand why the millions of commercial restrooms out there do not recycle their paper towels or why we do not recycle flexible packaging (pouches wrappers, etc…). Maybe I over think things from time to time but these seem like simple changes that could make a big impact.