We love plastic as it makes our life easier, on the other hand, it can be quite a burden, when it becomes waste.
So, in order to solve this problem, we decided to understand the reasons why the caps were not being recycled.
Small plastic products, such as caps, can be a huge problem in the environment, as they don’t generally get recycled or they are not worth collecting manually because:
-of their small size which makes them go through automated sorting process
-caps are mainly produced out of two materials, PP or HDPE and quite often they also have an inner EVA liner, making recycling harder and expensive as you have to separate all those materials.
-the many colours are also a challenge for caps recycling as it lowers the value of the material
How to Solve?
Conceptually, making the caps attractive, so that they won´t be disposed, and consequently won´t harm the environment.
Even better if this goal (objective) is reached by making peoples life easier and happier.
Our proposal are the Clever Caps, a dual function cap:
- on its first life, the cap works perfectly as a conventional cap, including accomplishing hermetic selling.
- on its second life, after working perfectly as a closure, the cap become a building block perfectly compatible with Lego.
Transforming a global problem into global joy
Clever Caps Benefits:
- Eliminate the need for recycling by giving the cap a lasting second function.
- The variety of colors, which used to be a problem for cap recycling, for the Clever Caps it has become a benefit.
- As in the Lego blocks, Clever Caps of different shapes and sizes fits perfectly together (interchangeable).
Clever Cap finish PCO 1881
Pencil holder made with Clever Caps and Lego
Creating a concept is one thing, but making it work into the existing market is something completely different
For us, it has been 4 years of extensive research, prototyping, material testing, pilot mold development until we got the the current design: one that made the cap perfect for its first use as a closure, but also perfect to be used a building block. We have managed to develop several caps, compatible with standard bottle Finish and with Lego pieces.
On the development process, there were a number of things that we have evaluated in order to get to the perfect design, material selection and production process.
Clever Caps are drop in to standard bottle finishes
Clever Caps make objects for everyday use
Clever Caps Goals:
- properly work both as closure as building blocks
- to adapt to industry standard packaging
- to apply the same plastics resins as conventional caps
- the ability of adapting existing caps molds for the Clever Caps system
- use the same filling machinery, without adding new production steps.
- to be safe for children to use, and be certified as a toy
- different forms and shapes, always self-compatibles, and compatible with Lego Blocks.
- Have a small over weight compared to the conventional cap
- have Tamper Evidence
Clever Cap is lower for same finish, that makes small overweight compared to the standard cap
Customizable in many ways
No Frontiers, mineral water caps from Brazil that assemble with juice caps from Australia, which assemble with shampoo caps from Kenya, which assemble with toothpaste caps from Germany, which assemble with tea caps from Tibet, which assemble with yogurt caps from Bolivia, which assemble with hair conditioner caps from Canada, which assemble with juice caps from Thailand, wich assemble with shampoo caps from Turkey, ………………………..................
Different sizes, shapes and products assembling with each other
Our biggest challenge was to develop a component that can perfectly function with two completely distinct standards: conventional bottle Finish standard and Lego standard.
Technical drawing from finish PCO 1881
Techincal drawing of Lego block
Clever Caps absolutely compatible
Moreover, we started the product development within a period of high political and economical instability in Brazil, but we were determined to do so, and looking back now, we are happy that we did it!