Biodegradable Six-Pack Ring  

Less Plastic. Fewer Injured Wildlife. Same Package.

Our Idea

Who are we?

My name is Tyler Greene, and I’m a Geomatics Engineering student who has spent the last few months learning about the process of ideation and innovation. I chose to become an engineer because I enjoy solving difficult problems, and this offering is an example of how to use something as ordinary as cardboard to design a solution to a problem.

What are we offering?

Every month, millions of canned beverages are packaged, shipped and sold around the world. And, despite the fact that the standard six-pack plastic ring has been recognized as an environmental hazard for decades, canned drinks are still primarily bound with plastic.

Who are we offering it to?

This product will be offered to local microbreweries as a recyclable, environmentally conscious option for their product packaging needs. Securing contracts locally and utilizing word of mouth will help grow consistent demand for our product. Additionally, the recent surge in the popularity of craft beer has seen many new breweries emerge across North America, and this represents a large, fast growing demographic who will appreciate the opportunity to sell their beer with a 100% biodegradable package.

Why does that person care?

Most people in the developed world today are aware of the negative consequences that human consumption can have on our environment. From the brewmaster to the consumer, everyone involved in the canned beverage supply chain can feel good about utilizing a packaging that is reliable, easily recyclable, and which won’t harm any wildlife.

Our distinctive competencies

While a beverage packaging solution is not something that I’ve drawn on my formal education to come up with, I do have a significant amount of life experience to draw on. I come from a farming family, and I grew up in a location which was remote enough that we were usually required to engineer our own solutions to mechanical problems rather than bring in a professional or send out the equipment for repair. This often meant making do with whatever materials we had available to us at the time. Also, in my experience, farmers have been known to enjoy a canned beverage or two. The problem with current plastic beverage rings have been well established for all of my life, and attempting to innovate a solution to this problem with only cardboard seems like a great way to bring my disparate skill set together.

The substitutes & alternatives

There are three main types of substitutes and alternatives for this product:

-Standard soft plastic rings

-Hard plastic ‘Paktech’ can toppers

-A typical cardboard box, like 6 bottles are often sold in

 

Each of the 2 plastic options require the use of costly material, and are more difficult to recycle than cardboard. Simultaneously, the cardboard boxes utilize significantly more material than my proposed solution.

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Our Pitch

Our concept pitch

Our personal pitch

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The Value

Our first key person

Our first key person is the manager of the brewery who we would like to convince to utilize our product. It all starts there. Most of the other customers along the supply chain will be relatively inelastic to the choice of packaging, so getting the person in charge of purchasing decisions at the brewery level is key.

They care because we are offering an eco-friendly option at a lower price than the competition.

Our promise to them is that our product is strong enough to do the job, while being an option that will save them money, and impress the end user by demonstrating a commitment to sustainability.

Our second key person

Our second key person is the people who ship and handle the product. This is important to them because our solution needs to perform similarly to current market offerings. Logistics is often a narrow margin industry, and the people working on the ground in that industry are largely indifferent to how their goods are packaged, as long as they are easy to handle and transport.

They care because our product will be the most environmentally friendly option that is equivalent or better than the current products used.

Our promise to them is the packaging will be sturdy enough to withstand the rigors of shipping and transportation.

Our third key person

Our third key person is the consumer of the beverage. No longer will they have to stress about the environmental impact of their purchase. With our offering being reusable, recyclable, and biodegradable, we have made every part of their purchase have the lowest possible environmental impact.

They care because people are beginning to understand that with the exceptionally large number of humans who live on the planet, we need to think long term about how we utilize the resources that Earth provides for us.

Our promise to them is that our product will provide them with the same functionality they’ve come to expect, but with none of the negative externalities.

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Your feedback and ideas

Feedback on our idea and your assessment of it are incredibly important. Please provide yours below.

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1 Comment

  1. Customer (C)

    8

    Value proposition (VP)

    8.5

    Substitutes & alternatives (SA)

    7.5

    People (P) on the team

    10

    Offering (O)

    8

    Distinctive competencies (DC)

    7.5

    Awesome idea. This saves the hassle of the individuals who take the time to cut every link in the common plastic ring prior to disposal. Although cutting the rings can reduce the chance of animals getting tangled up in them, they will still sit in landfills for a long period of time due to their level of biodegradability (I think I just made up a word). Great solution to provide to a huge industry. Introducing a way to use recyclable materials to ship their products adds a level of sustainability to their smaller “bulk” purchases.