Sol-Cap is an innovative, water soluble, structural packaging that is a solution for small sachet and plastic container waste. It can be used for food and cosmetic products.
Properties of Sol-Cap
- non-toxic, non-allergenic and odourless
- suitable for Vegans
- can be produced in a variety of shapes/forms
- appearance can be transparent or pigmented and accepts printed media (for branding etc.)
- 100% biodegradable
- safe to ingest
- air and liquid tight
- long lasting shelf life, up to 2 years
- FDA approved
We tested our packing contained with several different types of materials with different type of properties and PH levels that are listed below for 6 months. We realized that Sol-Cap is perfect for powders, gels and oil based materials. It's air and liquid tight so that it won't spill liquid and contain the material properties of the packed item for a long time. For example, if a spice is packaged with Sol-Cap, it can contain it's flavor for a long time. Likewise, If it's filled with liquid, it will hold the liquid safely without spilling it.
According to our tests Sol-Cap is suitable for:
Spices, salt, sugar, coffee, tea, milk powder
Oil based liquids
Honey, jam, vegetable and animal stocks and oil based body wash gels.
Advantages of Sol-Cap
We can address the advantages of Sol-Cap by highlighting the user and company benefits.
Sol-Cap is offering a great option to users to choose as an alternative to plastic packaging consumption. Today, a lot of consumers are aware of the huge amount of packaging consumption and its waste therefore they are trying to find a Eco-friendly packaging alternatives. They can use Sol-Cap guilty free as it doesn't end up littering the streets, blocking drainage system or ending up in oceans digested by marine animals. It's non-toxic, even it's digested accidentally it is safe.
As consumers will demand better alternatives to packaging waste companies will have to find a solution to this problem in the long run. For consumer needs Sol-Cap is great for companies because it offers zero waste. Companies can also get benefit from using Sol-Cap to compete with beautiful little plastic packaging in the market since Sol-Cap has a clear finish. Sol-Cap also very beneficial for companies because they can use it to store many different product types.
Restaurants & Take-away Shops:
It can be used in restaurants and take-away shops to store single use spices, oils, soy sauces as well as butter, honey and jam products for breakfast time.
Single use oil based body cleaning gels and essential oils can be stored in Sol-Cap. Also in their restaurant section, they can be used to store single use spices, oils, soy sauces and butter, honey and jam products for breakfast time.
Visual presentation is very important for cosmetic brands as they can be luxury and very expensive. Cosmetic shops always give away testers for their products to help users understand if that product is suitable for them before purchasing the item. Cosmetic tester containers are generally very beautifully packaged small plastic containers or sachets that only for single use. As an alternative packaging option it is very challenging to compete with current single use packages especially when it comes to luxury brands. Luckily, Sol-Cap can compete with the single use plastic packaging alternatives in the market by offering a beautiful design with an excellent clarity that looks like plastics as well as being environmentally friendly.
In our studio, we made several testing with bio-plastic materials that are water soluble or biodegradable. One of the challenges we had was that the packaging has to have a visual quality to be able compete with plastic ones in the market as well as it has to be low cost to manufacture. Finally we found out the right material for our purpose. The powders used in Sol-Cap are used in pharmacy industry and food industry. It is synthetic cellulose from plants. During our experiments we even tried new manufacturing methods with this materials we can also make different range of shapes. We can control the PH levels of the Sol-Cap so that it can be suitable for each material that it may contain. Sol-Cap dissolves in room temperature in water between 5 minutes to 15 minutes, based on the packaging size and thickness.
Our team is growing
Ayca and Ezgi are sisters based in London working on simplifying and improving everyday objects. They have a small studio by the Tobacco Dock.
Ayca is internationally award wining industrial designer and inventor. She holds an MA in Product Design at the Royal College of Art. Ayca has previously collaborated with several packaging companies, and has exhibited work in Beijing, Istanbul, Paris, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and London.
Ezgi is a chemist with a passion for bio-plastics. She has experience working in a global chemical company for 6 years and holds and MBA qualification. She has experience in sales an marketing of raw materials of different types of drug capsules, which inspired her to invent biodegradable shells for different kinds of liquids, spices, cosmetics and foods.
Francis is a recent addition to the team: his background in architecture has added a new perspective on Sol-Cap and the strategy for its development. In particular he contributes expertise in areas of business planning, design management, art direction and branding. Francis holds an MA in Architecture at the Royal College of Art
Refinement Phase Developments
Through out the refinement phase we have continued our user testing and prototyping. We are encouraged by our advisor Nick Cliffe from Innovate UK to develop different shapes with Sol-Cap to show the material potential of our idea. Additionally, we received feedback from our we have developed our product further.
We redesigned our packaging containing high viscosity products like jam and honey based on our feedback from our user testing. Our previous packaging design for gels was very thin and had narrow opening that caused frustration and delay to pouring the gels. Therefore, we made the packaging wider and shorter to enable better user experience. We decided to collect honey, jams and butter products under the breakfast theme. We believe that our breakfast package would be more appealing to hotels, restaurants, catering companies as well as users single use, non-biodegradable plastic container alternatives.
User experience for our new breakfast packaging design:
Another feedback from our user testing was making the packaging design in way that stands upright on a flat surface which avoids spillage between uses. Therefore, we designed all of our packaging to be able stand upright position.
Sol-Cap skin care products user testing:
Advantages of single use biodegradable packaging in oil products
We are informed by our advisor that contamination creates another problem for the recycling systems. When a contaminated packaging comes to the recycling facility, it would be very difficult and sometimes impossible to recycle the packaging, especially the ones that contained with oil based products. Therefore, increase use of Sol-Cap packaging for oil based products will increase the effectiveness of recycling plastics.
User testing for our single use olive oil and soy sauce packaging.
We increased our cosmetics packaging design portfolio
We have found a new area of use for packaging; single use lip balm tester/sample is a new design addition in our cosmetics portfolio. We developed our lip balm packaging and made user testing with them.
Sol-Cap lip balm user testing:
Single use Sol-Cap packaging is user friendly and can be applied easily thanks to its structural property. Our packaging comes with a cap that allows users to reuse the product more than once. According to our market research there is a demand for single use sample/tester lip care products in the cosmetics industry. In cosmetics shops users always try lipstick colours on their hands due to the hygiene issues. Also, users feel that buying one colour is a commitment, so testers and samples allow users to make right choices by allowing them test the colour and the quality of the product without spending too much money on it. However, in cosmetics industry all of the single use small packaging made of plastics and there isn't any biodegrade material options.
Our market research for single use lip care products
Another new addition to our product portfolio is cleansing products; facial sponge and mouth wash tablets.
The possibilities of Sol-Cap packaging is endless. Following our designs in small-scale biodegradable packaging we intend to test the application of our technology on larger items such as chocolate, biscuit and fruit trays.
After several testing, we managed to produce larger scale packaging with our material. We strongly believe that this would open many future possibilities in structural packaging areas for our product.
We are producing our packaging in labs with small batches. In this video the preparation process of Sol-Cap material by Ezgi can be seen.