OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Incorporated tear-offs

A tear-off film which stays partially attached to the container even after opening. The film will be recycled together with the container.

Photo of alberto
4 1

Written by

Tear-off films are used to protect and preserve food before consumption. They are designed to be torn off from the container and become a detached piece of waste.

My idea is to make the film non-detachable from the container, even after the packaging has been opened. 

Films are normally sealed on the edges of the container (Image 1). However, if you further seal the film on a "flap" (Image 2), the film will be still partially attached to the container after opening. In order to do so, the film passes through a "chink" in the flap, and it is then sealed on the bottom of it (Image 3). While you remove the film, the part attached to the bottom of the flap will be not torn off, since you would have to apply a force in the opposite direction.


It is quite common to find containers having a plastic lid on top of the film, in order to close the container again after the film has been removed (Image 4). 

In this case, my idea is to make the film itself take the function of a lid, as you can see in the video. The rigid lid is transformed into a frame, which holds the torn-off film and enables to close it again on the container.

In order to do so, there are the following features:

1) the lid/frame is attached to the container through the flap, which therefore becomes a hinge (the film is still sealed on the flap as described before).

2) The lid is hollow and it has a kind of small "hook" on the top front. 

3) The film has a flap, which supports the tear-off operation. Moreover, this flap has a hole in the middle, so it can be "pinned" to the hook and become a single element together with the frame.

Note: the thickness of the film shall be chosen in order to be resistant to the tearing-off operation, as well as to act as a barrier to protect the food.

Idea Title

Incorporated tear-offs

Company / Organization Name




Where are you / your team located?


How does this Idea redesign unrecyclable small format plastic items that often end up as waste?

The tear-off film will stay together with the container throughout its life cycle, so it can be recycled. In the variation with the plastic lid/frame, the film will be something useful for the consumer also after the first opening. Hence, the film is even more likely to be left attached to the container.

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

This idea applies to the Case 2, in particular to the personas of Michaela, Trevor and Benjamin.

In what geographical context or area does your Idea plan to operate / solve?

The idea is mainly designed for developed markets and/or big cities, where processed food is avilable and affordable to most of the popoulation.

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

I see this idea being scaled-up by packaging manufacturers through some changes in their processes. The main obstacle is to optimize both the design and the production technology, in order not to increase the manufacturing costs. This obstacle can be overcome through product and process development in a pilot line.

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Research & Early Testing: You are exploring an idea, gathering inspiration and information needed to test it with real users.

Please describe how becoming a Top Idea and working with the Think Beyond Plastics Accelerator Program will help to accelerate your solution.

My goal would be to get to the piloting stage through the following steps: 1) Optimize the design through the realization of prototypes and consumer feedback. 2) Partner with a manufacturer to develop a production technology which can be integrated into the current mass production. 3) Partner with a food manufacturer to launch the innovation in some test markets.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

This is an idea of mine, which came into my mind after reading the Use Cases of this Challenge.

Tell us about your work experience

I currently work as Product Developer for petfood, and I also had some experiences in Quality & Food Safety Assurance.

Please describe your legal and organizational structure

Not applicable.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Lauren Ito


We have received your Refinement Phase Submission Questions! Just a friendly reminder that the Phase closes tonight, August 31st at 11:30 p.m. PT. so please update your contribution on the platform before the deadline.

Thank you for all your work this Refinement Phase and for being member of the OpenIDEO Community!

Photo of alberto

Hi Lauren,

Thank you for your message!
The content of the contribution is still applicable, and the refinement questionnaire will provide further details about the idea and its deployment with a systemic approach.


Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Alberto

There are 7 days left in the refinement phase.

I just want to remind you that the deadline to complete the Refinement Questions via the online submission form is August 31 at 11:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Alberto!

Welcome to the refinement phase! It is great to see a video!

How do you enable quick separation and capture of the different materials in your prototype to enable efficient and viable recycling?

How much force is needed to remove the flap?

Have you had other people try using the prototype?

There is an idea in previous challenge - Stairwear - - that is a great example of low fidelity prototyping and filming and gathering feedback from the user at the same time.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me by tagging me here (@ followed by my name) or send me an email -

I just want to remind you that the deadline to complete the Refinement Questions via the online submission form is August 31 at 11:30 p.m. Pacific Time.