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Changing disposable packaging

paper cans to distribute liquids and replace plastic and foil sachet packaging.

Photo of Teddy
5 4

Written by

Idea Title

Sachet Can

Company / Organization Name

Teddy Atuluku


Where are you / your team located?

Abuja, Nigeria

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

The Sachet Can aims to be a replacement for liquid carrying plastic sachets. It increases the size of the packets and uses materials and structures similar to paper cups. When purchasing small food and health care items, trust is usually an issue, especially in third world countries like Nigeria. This idea aims to both reduce the use of plastic and foil sachet type packaging and keep consumer trust that they are purchasing products that haven't been opened or tampered with by using a wax seal.

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

The inspiration for the sachet can was the Rajata use case. While the main aim of this project is to make the sachets recyclable, if they end up in drains, rivers or other bodies of water, the paper can break down without causing the same amount of environmental damage that plastic does.

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

In Nigeria with a product called Pure Water which is water in a sealed plastic pack, that's extremely low cost and portable. their packages often get left on streets after the water is drank. This idea retains the portability and reduces waste impact

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

The idea would be introduced through local pure water and other food manufacturers, with some government support. Obstacles would be building trust that the contents of the product is what buyers expect and they hasn't been replaced or tampered with. To over come this obstacle we would seal the cans in a visible way that isn't easy to replicate, work with brands to maintain brand images on packages, and roll out an ad campaign to make clear the benefits of the sachet cans over plastic sachets

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.

The Think Beyond Plastics Accelerator would help resources and funds to go from product development into small group testing, and help expand the scale of distribution, both in the testing phase and phases that follow. They key steps in my plan to implement are as follows; Protoype (currently being worked on) Real world testing Finalization Commercial partner out reach (to local goods companies) Distribution Governmental out reach to help implement systems for distribution and recycling

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

The idea emerged from the wasteful nature of products like pure water and milk sachets. In Abuja, the Nigerian capital, it's not uncommon to walk a few paces without seeing a piece of plastic packaging laying on the side of the road or peaking out from beneath a mound of dirt or grass. I saw this as an opportunity for improvement, then I began research into physical and systematic ways to reduce the problem.

Tell us about your work experience

I'm an industrial designer with past work and projects in emergency relief, branding, and consumer products. I studied and worked in NYC before moving home to Nigeria to work as a designer.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Lauren Ito

Hi Teddy!

As Refinement Phase quickly comes to a close in LESS THAN 7 HOURS, I want to remind you that the following must be submitted by tonight, August 31st at 11:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

1. Submit the Refinement Questions Form online that was sent again via email yesterday evening--we have not yet received this from you. These questions are mandatory for Top Ideas consideration, so this should be your first priority in the final stretch.

2. A secondary priority, which is optional, is to update your Refinement Phase post. I see you've already updated your concept on the platform. But please share any additional information, photos, and documentation of your progress throughout this Phase!

If you have any questions, please email

Looking forward to reviewing and celebrating the amazing work you've achieved this Refinement Phase!

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Teddy!

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 Teddy!

Welcome to the refinement phase.

I look forward to seeing your prototype and how it compares to existing products like pure water or maybe a drink bought at Mr Bigg's?

Would these paper cans do the job and be able to protect the drink as good as plastics do? What would their benefits be like over PET bottles (that are often collected and recycled)? How common is it for paper to be collected and recycled in Nigeria?

What would this solution be like ‘end-to-end’ from production of the product to dealing with the waste?

There are a few ideas from previous challenges that you might want to check out:

Friendly ATM - - a top idea from our financial longevity challenge has a great example of rapid, low budget prototyping and gathering feedback from customers. The use of video to demonstrate the prototyping/testing session is really good.

Also, for Stepwise - - the ideator filmed people using a very early stage version of her idea to understand how they would interact with the solution and what their experience is.

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.

p.s. nice portfolio! I like and would buy the Buho bag!

Photo of Andrew

A good suggestion Teddy. From what I know of Africa it would be very applicable.

Photo of Teddy

Thanks Andrew, the mess they make is a real problem, and I think it could be applied to more than one situation.