GA Tech: Madison Lovelace, Kareen Yeung, Noah Longhi, Elina Zhang, Walker Barrett

Introducing Pop-Pack–– an easy to make, easy to use, and easy to recycle alternative to traditional plastic six pack ring carriers.

Pop-Pack is a user-friendly, curbside recyclable, and easy to manufacture six-pack carrier for PET bottles. The technology is simple yet solid––it relies on 6 ovular slits that secure the bottles when folded and a sturdy double handled grip for users to hold. The slits not only secure the bottles but also allow coke lovers to simply press down on the cardboard above the bottle cap to easily pop a bottle out. Pop-Pack requires no glue and therefore no extra toxic chemicals, meaning everything is purely recyclable cardboard. The design is single layered, requires no complex folding, and is only made out of a 9x11 inch piece of corrugated cardboard. The pattern of Pop-Pack allows for no material to be lost during the cutting process.

Other toothed paper fasteners made it difficult to remove bottles from the carrier which is why there are flexible tabs for easy bottle removal. This product also features a double-layered handle that folds within to make it convenient to carry. Users sometimes forget to flatten cardboard structures, and unfortunately unflattened cardboard can take up unnecessary space in bins and make its transportation to recycling facilities cost inefficient. With Pop-Pack, the carrier becomes flat once the bottles are taken out so you can simply toss the carrier into the bin without hassle.

With cardboard being the only material used, Pop-Pack is easily recyclable for users and recycling facilities alike. Even if a Pop-Pack finds its way to the ocean, it's unlikely animals will get entangled in it because cardboard is biodegradable and becomes structurally weak when wet. It is also much less harmful when ingested by animals compared to carriers made of plastic components. In addition to its minimal waste design, Pop-Pack uses eco-friendly water-based ink to make the packaging not only 100% recyclable, but also completely biodegradable within 4 months. Non-eco-friendly inks that contain heavy metals like mercury or lead causes harm to us and the environment. Even if the cardboard is biodegradable, what good does it do if the ink pollutes the soil and its wider ecosystem?

The design for Pop-Pack maximizes surface area to volume ratio and allows for a great canvas to display creative graphics. The current design is consistent with the graphics on the Coke bottles for a cohesive look, especially the iconic Coca Cola Red to help the product pop off the shelf. The slogan, “creating a world without waste,” is used to emphasize Coca Cola’s pledge to “create a more sustainable and better-shared future”.