San Jose State: Rosalyn Yasui, Jaina Araujo, Joseph Porreca, Yuxin (Starr) Gong

Partnered with 48-hour Re-Pack, Hi-Cone has delivered the chance to put on our thinking hats to create sustainable packaging options for packs of soda cans and/or PET plastic bottles. For Oceans packaging is made of a biopolymer, called Bacterial Cellulose, which comes from natural and 100% biodegradable and compostable. The research of this new material has been an on-going project in many universities across the world because it can be applied in various parts of the packaging industry like food packaging, active packaging, and intelligent packaging, to replace the traditional plastics.

For Oceans design consists of a structure similar to that of the current carrier flexible plastic ring. A lot of research has already proved that the material has great physical properties, such as high tensile strength. The physical properties of For Oceans will assist in bundling the cans together and providing an easy grip to pick up the cans. The material’s total weight is 3.2 grams; therefore, the carbon footprint is less than current flexible plastic ring packaging. Sustainability is helping the environment be eco-friendly, so taking it a step further to be biodegradable and compostable will prove to be beneficial to the environment.

In the design of For Oceans , paper is covering the top of the cans for various reasons. First, to aid in keeping the cans tamper proof. Secondly, the simple, but beautiful paper is a way to give clear instructions to consumers to gain knowledge about how to handle the waste. Furthermore, the biodegradable and compo-sable material will effectively adapt to existing manufacturing machines because of the physical qualities similar to traditional plastics. Cutting, rolling, and applying by stretching there would be no need to change out equipment, therefore, saving on costs. However, there would be only one concern and that is the need to find competitive and available suppliers to supply massive amounts of material.

All in all, For Oceans, may be the future of plastics. The material may inspire consumers to rethink the material when discarding waste. For Oceans will help to light up a smile for the environment.