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PopLock - Plastic Potato Crisp Tube with Integrated Hinged Lid

Reusable, recyclable, single material, tubular container with integrated hinged lid.

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[Jumping the gun and submitting this as an idea during the research phase - the idea is based on a similar early submission considering how multiple material packaging designs and lose components cause issues in recycling. See 'Cuppuccino'.]

The focus of this design looks to address the highest rated non-recyclable offender - the potato crisp tube, most commonly associated with the Kellogg's brand 'Pringles'.

People don't respond well to change - at least initially. Give them what they want - but in a way that makes it easier for them to do the right thing. Change will follow.

The potato crisp tube is an iconic design that suits the main brand's marketing slogan 'Once you pop - you can't stop!'. It enables the reconstituted potato crisp product to be hygienically sealed and easily transported without breaking the product. Whilst made up of plastics, foils, cardboard and metal, the tube is defended as prolonging shelf-life - reducing wastage. Whether or not you subscribe to this defence, the fact remains that the product is non-recyclable. The challenge is less to convince people not to buy a product that is non-recyclable, or a brand to stop shipping a product it knows it can sell, but to find a middle ground.

Plastics have the qualities of being able to hold an airtight seal and maintaining a sturdy structure whilst being both reusable and, for the most part, recyclable. By creating a tube that mimics the shape that suits both the manufacturer and the consumer needs or wants, a tube with an integrated hinged lid, with no separate parts, made from a recyclable material is a win:win:win (manufacturer, consumer, environment). The proposed design allows for the tube to be sealed airtight, using an adhesive, and allows for the lid to be snapped closed and popped open - maintaining freshness between servings (if anyone has ever managed to go beyond a single serving).

Comparisons
Now: Current Tube (e.g. Pringles) - vs -
Then: PopLock

Material Count
Now: 5
Then: 1

Parts - Once Open
Now: 3 (Lid, Seal, Tube)
Then: 1

Reusable
Now: Partial albeit with limited use
Then: Yes (similar to how ice-cream tubs are reusable)

Recyclable
Now: No
Then: Yes

Printable Surface
Now: Yes
Then: Yes

Washable
Now: No
Then: Yes

The design can support any size/length of tube and can even be shaped and/or embossed to further drive unique branding. The design can also support numerous packaging needs such as, but not restricted to, takeaway containers, yoghurt pots, small disposable containers for sauces, etc.

I've named this idea 'PopLock' - focusing on the integrated hinge lid component of the design and its flexibility to work for a wide range of reusable and recyclable, hygienically sealed and transportable, packaging containers.

(c) Copyright 2017 Matt Jones matt@cranialscratch.com UK - All rights reserved.

How does this research relate to our Use Cases?

Whilst the focus of this design idea is that of the number one offender producing non-recyclable containers for their potato crisps, this idea crosses the needs of both Use Case 2 and 3, where smaller components - such as lids / foil seals, fail to be properly recycled.

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

People don't respond well to change - at least initially. Give them what they want - but in a way that makes it easier for them to do the right thing. Change will follow.

Tell us about yourself

Matt Jones - a digital product innovation consultant specialising in customer-centred design with a focus on user interface design. My job is to identify patterns, gleaned from insights and meeting with real users, to determine better outcomes for the user, the business and society as a whole.

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