California Polytechnic: Carson Barnes, Morgan McKean, Marilyn Nguyen
Hi-cone six pack rings have long been negatively associated with pollution despite their utility as transporting six units of Coca-Cola. Not only is tedious to remove the drinks from each ring, but the average consumer does not properly recycle this, which leads to waste in landfills. Even if the rings are properly recycled, there is little benefit due to the fact that an increased amount of energy is required to process the material, resulting in more gas emissions in the atmosphere. To address these various issues within the plastic ring design, the team developed ideas to improve the current ring design.
The concept that emerged was a corrugated board carrier able to support the weight of all six bottles. The minimal use of post-consumer recycled E-flute resolves the issues with the original plastic ring design, such as using less energy when being recycled. The bottles are arranged in a parallelogram orientation to influence the consumer to remove the bottles in a specific order and manner while also providing a space efficient shape for distribution. The package design utilizes a single dieline, and allows for easy flattening and erecting when being shipped from distributor to filling facility. The bottles are soundly held in place with toothed holes which prevent the product from ever slipping out of the package. The bottles are easy to remove from the carrier thanks to the use of zipper perforations to help the consumer pull each bottle from their respective openings. This system provides just the right amount of security while also allowing the consumer to easily remove the bottles with minimal force when the zipper is to be undone. In addition to these design enhancements, the 6-pack of bottles remains stackable for efficiency through distribution, in retail, and for the end consumer. The exposed interior of the package shows the E-flute kraft liner of the carrier to subtly hint to the consumer that the carrier originates from recycled materials and is meant to be recycled. The graphics for the package were created to match Coca-Cola’s new plastic bottles made from recycled marine litter. Not only do the colors and patterns match this new product, the initiative behind the package design matches Coca-Cola’s goals to “Recycle the Unrecyclable.”
With the Hi-cone six pack rings use in the market for Coca Cola’s coke bottles, it is evident that there is room for improvement in the packaging design concept. While the rings hold the product together, it still has a negative association with pollution and the hurting of wildlife, which as a consumer, takes away from the product itself. The new design solves each of these problems, while also promoting #WorldWithoutWaste.