After my last post, which highlighted a non-glamorous item, it is time to enliven this blog a bit. Worldwide industrial designers come up with new packaging ideas, a large part of these ideas is just self-employment, in other words there is no client involved. They are just the fruits of a creative spirit, no commercial or technical requirements and restrictions limiting the brainwave. Of course a great deal is useless, too far fetched or impossible to execute or manufacture. But sometimes you encounter a packaging design concept, of which you say: “Nice idea, maybe it is worth to give it a try.”
As this blog has as goal to promote ‘green’ creativity in packaging, both design ideas described here, are spouted from ‘green’ spirits. Be aware also, that concepts do need some detailing work for the real world, at the other hand the choice of material is free, while both ideas might offer a strong marketing incentive in regard to sustainabilty, a word which is on everybody’s lips.
In my article “EcoPak and Ecocentric – What’s in a Name?” I described the plantable Pangea body-care packages with its herb seeds moulded in the 100% post-consumer paperboard sides of the packages. Soak it in water, after use and plant it in soil.
The designer Yun Hwan Sung comes up with an interesting twist on recycling, as despite the fact that PET-bottles are relatively easy to recycle, all too many end up in landfills or even worse in nature. His bottle with the “Seeds in the Bottle” concept is actually a variant of the Pangea paperboard packages. In this case the seeds are stored in an indent in the side of the bottle and covered by a label. After drinking down or using the last drop from the bottle, simply tip the bottle upside down, remove the bottom, fill the bottle up with soil, remove the label and take out the seeds, drop the seeds in, spray with water and wait to harvest your own fresh herbs.
Imagine the bottles themselves made attractive with a nice looking picture, and no consumer would mind having these plants (and your iconic bottle) all over his house.
About the designer. The first information I received about Yun Hwan Sung was that he was Chinese or Taiwanese. However my friends in Taiwan have not been able to locate him and state that the way the idea is presented is the Japanese style, but, according to them, Yun Hwan Sung definitely must be a Korean. Whatever the nationality, the Seoul Design Foundation doesn’t know Yun, I haven’t been able to gather more specific information.
As always is the case with ideas and concepts few technical aspects are known. The second creation is no better.
The NNew Can stands out as it has a deliberate round spiral shape. Designed by Choi Kwenyoung and Park Jiwoon (both from the Kongju National University, Korea) for those who separate garbage to have a quick and easy time crushing cans into a size of one third of a normal can.
I know, I know, seeing this concept will make the hair of many a technician stand on end. Let’s have a closer look.
First, of course is the shape with spirals enabling easy crushing of the can. What is the can doing when stacked high in a warehouse? In principle there shouldn’t be a problem, as the cans have a concave indent in the bottom as well as the pressure inside. It is even said, and certainly imaginable, that such structures as these spirals have indirectly formed ribs around the can, strengthening the structure instead, due to the surface deformations created.
If this is the case there should be found a balance between the above and the enabling to crush the aluminium can more easily.
The second problem is the manufacturing. In my opinion this can with its spiral structure only can be blow-moulded, as a high-speed draw re-draw (DRD) process can’t be used. But who am I to deny creativity in re-designing the DRD-process. After all, if this can gets picked up by any of the big beverage companies, this could certainly change how cans are produced.
And furthermore there is new shaping technology in aluminium bottles (CCL Containers) that features dramatic curves and contours the full length of the container. So, in other words, I think, that the production problems can be overcome.
Ok, maybe not for the big boys, as Coca-Cola, Pepsi etc, but think in terms of a healthy energy drink. It just might be the extra incentive to underline the green credentials and differentiation in the aisle.