WHY BOTTLE CAPS?
Since you started reading this sentence 20,000 plastic bottles have been opened. Yes that's 20,000 every second and it's rising. Only a few thousand of these get recycled whilst the rest end up in landfill or are lost into the environment.
Just 2 months ago the North Sea Foundation carried out a study of 10,000 bottle tops picked up from Dutch beaches and concluded both that 80% of them had been left behind by consumers and that bottle caps were among the top 5 most harmful items found on beaches.
The Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawaii (BEACH) has found that bottle caps are the second most littered item on beaches after cigarette butts.
According to the 2014 NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Marine Debris Program Report, plastics have been found in the dead bodies of fish, sharks, sea turtles, sea birds, seals and dolphins.
(You can find the links to these reports below)
THE KAPKEEP BOTTLE DESIGN
KapKeep is not only better for the environment but also better for the consumer since it provides an easy place to put the cap. The strong visual presence of the KapKeep feature on the bottle will also allow the brands to strengthen their connections with their customers on the important issues of bottle and cap recycling.
We set three main design objectives. These were :-
- To get the benefits of tethered caps without inconveniencing the user.
- To provide a solution that offers immediate benefits to the consumer as well as the environmental advantage.
- To achieve the above whilst having minimal impact on manufacturing and cost.
We have to accept that not everyone cares enough about the environment to make any extra effort for it. Below are 2 user journeys; one about someone who cares and one about someone who doesn't. KapKeep provides benefits in both situations.
First the person who cares - buys, drinks, connects and recycles
Now the person who doesn't care - buys, drinks and discards carelessly but the cap is later retrieved with bottle.
In the ideas phase we wanted to know what it might be like to use KapKeep and so took some early prototypes into the garden for lunch.
During the refinement phase the KapKeep detail design was iterated and tested with different sized hands to make sure it was easy to use.
It even works in winter with gloves!
(Full report in the attachments)
The resulting bottle was made using a 3D printed part glued between the neck and base of standard Pepsi Max bottle. The idea was shared in Lincoln, UK and 2 users were willing to be filmed - here's the feedback.
Comments from others (who were not willing to be filmed) included;
"Yeah having somewhere to put the cap is cool but I might just throw the whole thing on the ground"
"I think the best thing about this is that people will end up helping the environment even if they don't realise that they are doing it."
These are important points which acknowledge the fact that many people do not care enough about the environment to change their behaviour. KapKeep still helps even if the bottle ends up on the ground as the cap can get recovered with the bottle. Even if lost in nature the bottle-cap combination is too big for wildlife to swallow.
KAPKEEP BRANDING STRATEGY
KapKeep’s branding strategy will focus on bottle manufacturers as its key audience, building a narrative in which they are the heroes both to their customers and to the environment by adopting KapKeep.
Customers will love the convenience and fun of popping their bottle caps onto the KapKeep. Currently, customers either have to hold the cap when drinking and screw it back on between sips, or put it down where it can get lost. KapKeep gives them an easy, safe place to stick their cap so they don’t have to hold it or keep track of it. And it offers fun possibilities for co-branding opportunities with entertainment properties that incorporate the Kap Keep into graphics on the packaging - like these superheroes.
or how about teaching some science by selling the bottle with a free Mentos placed in the KapKeep? !!! (Photo: Michael Murphy)
Manufacturers using KapKeep also help the environment by keeping the caps with the bottles and not strewn on the ground or in the water. Their customers care about this, and are willing to pay more for eco-friendly products (even the chairman of Nestle has affirmed this. (Watch video via link below)
With only a small marginal cost increase, brands that adopt the Kap Keep bottles can demonstrate their green credentials as part of their corporate social responsibility programs.
Branding will include the words “KapKeep” embossed on the plastic bottle around the KapKeep holder, and a symbol/logo on the cap itself that lets the consumer know the bottle has the feature. This will cut across beverage brands, similar to “Tetra Pak” or “Intel Inside,” helping to make it a standard and recognised bottle feature in the marketplace.
The primary brand message to promote adoption by the manufacturers would be something along the lines of “KapKeep: Good for your customers. Good for the environment.” Or “A smarter bottle for both customers and the environment.” The consumer-facing brand messaging, once available in the market, would emphasise the idea of “Keeps your cap with the bottle where it belongs.”
To achieve maximum impact this idea has to be adopted by the brands so the case has to be compelling and the opportunity unmissable. That can be done by assembling the following assets:
- Larger scale user studies using a modified tool to produce a thousand bottles
- Exploration of the branding strategy i.e. co-branding opportunities, promotions etc
- Creation of a social media campaign centred on the KapKeep
For best results these should be done in conjunction with a brand so the primary objective of the 'next steps' is to create that relationship.
KapKeep would just be the starting point of an enterprise that delivers innovative circular packaging solutions to industry. The KapKeep adventure will reveal further opportunities to design restorative, regenerative and circular products.
Many thanks to everyone who contributed, commented and asked questions to make me think about how to make this better. Special thanks to Robert Smith for all his expert prototyping help, Angel Landeros for manufacturing insight and Nick Cliffe for the recycling expertise and the Mentos idea!
Copyright Alan Somerfield 31/8/2017. All Rights Reserved. Patents Pending.