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ThisCap

ThisCap is tethered bottle cap that remains connected to its container and ensures recycling.

Photo of Michael Maguire
30 16

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In 2013 I was on a beach in Asia and saw many plastic bottle caps polluting the sand and shore. I decided to do some research and learned that there are more than 6.5 Billion single use plastic bottle caps opened every day, that is 2.3 Trillion per year and only 10% are currently recycled. I am an inventor and problem solver, so, I invented ThisCap.

ThisCap is the exact same bottle cap we use every day except that it is modified in a way that allows it to remain connected to its container from the moment it is applied until it is fully recycled.

At this time more than 85% of all plastic bottles are recycle, so, if we make sure every bottle opened in the world has ThisCap on it, we will stop more than 1.9 Trillion bottle caps from entering our Eco system and from harming Earth's precious wildlife.

My quest to solve this problem started 4 years ago. I began by designing and prototyping many versions of tethered caps all of which were either not feasible to bring market or were rejected by the end users/consumers. After a year of grueling attempts, I finally worked out a design that met the requirements of the bottling industry and the needs of the consumer and called it ThisCap.

The beauty of ThisCap is that it will transition into the market seamlessly and at zero extra cost to the supply chain. All the manufacturer has to do is exchange a small part on one of their machines that we provide free of charge and takes about 5 minutes to install and suddenly, their existing cap becomes ThisCap.

Once I felt I had a viable solution to the problem of single use bottle caps allowed to enter the ECO system, I had to learn how to get the product to market. I built a small team of 6 key people and ThisCap Inc. was born.

We were off and running, over the next year we secured the proper patents around the world necessary to protect both the product and the manufacturing process to create ThisCap.

Once we had solid IP in place we were ready bring ThisCap to market. We already solved the key problem of zero extra manufacturing cost but needed to create an incentive for the bottling industry to adopt ThisCap. We created a business model called License Revenue Program (LRP). LRP is a product license based program that provides a new revenue stream to the entire supply chain and just the incentive we needed to entice the industry.

Over the next year we presented our product and LRP to several major manufacturers around the world looking for just the right fit for the debut release of ThisCap. As a result of this process we became connected to a machine manufacturing company whose machines are responsible for more than 50% of the caps made worldwide today. This company feels strongly that ThisCap will be a viable solution that can enter the market seamlessly and at next to zero extra cost --- so much so that they paved the road to our debut manufacturing partner. It took some time to work out the details but finally ThisCap is now set to debut late 2017 in Taiwan.

In addition to the constant task of preparing for our Debut, we are also hard at work meeting with new potential manufacturing partners in all corners of the planet who will help to ensure that ThisCap becomes the new standard.

Part of our team is also working hard  to developing a web and social media presence to create public awareness for the problems related to plastic cap pollution, as well as reaching out to socially conscious legislators in hopes that we can create new legislation in countries all around the world that will require plastic beverage and chemical containers to have tethered caps.

My dream with ThisCap is that we will first significantly reduce the amount of plastic caps allowed to enter the ECO system and second that we will create enough profit through our venture to launch and fund a cleanup effort to collect the already existing plastic polluting Earths ECO system and wildlife habitat....we are the only animals who can make a difference, the others need our help.   Michael J. Maguire
 
www.thiscap.com

Idea Title

ThisCap Tethered Bottle Cap

Company / Organization Name

ThisCap Inc. is our company name. We are a US corporation focused on solutions to Plastic Pollution Problems all over Earth.

Website

www.ThisCap.com Facebook.com/thiscap Twitter.com/thiscapisbest

Where are you / your team located?

ThisCap Inc. is Located in San Bruno, California but we serve the entire world.

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

On earth today there are more than 6.5 billion plastic single use bottle caps opened every day and only 10% are currently recycled. With ThisCap's new design feature that allows the cap to remain connected to the bottle, we can ensure that the cap will follow the bottle to the recycling world. We can increase the currently 10% recycled caps to a much higher number. Let's make it 100%.

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

Bottle Caps and Tear-offs. During a visit to a beach several years ago I saw a few bottle caps along the shore line, I began to pick them up to place them in the trash and wondered how many I could find. When the number became more than I could hold in my hands and backpack, I decided there needs to be a solution to this problem and my 4 year adventure started.

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

We are currently in production in Europe and Asia and are very active in developing markets all around the Globe. Our goal is to ensure that every single use bottle cap makes its way to the recycling center and not to Earth's wildlife habitat

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

I have already overcome the most difficult obstacle and that is creating a product that will be accepted by and will be a seamless transition to the bottling industry. Our current design is one that the consumer is comfortable using and even prefers and is zero extra cost to the manufacturer. Because it is at no additional cost, the manufacturers see ThisCap as a positive and are on our team to help have ThisCap become the new world standard.

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Full-scale roll-out: You have developed a pilot, tested, and analyzed the impact of that pilot as it pertains to the problem scope. You are ready to expand the pilot significantly and begin to scale.

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

My primary goal is to make sure that within ten years every single use plastic bottle cap will be required to remain connected to its container. I have worked hard to develop a product that can achieve this goal and am working on getting the word out. I cannot do this alone, my voice is not enough. I hope being part of the New Plastics Accelerator Program will help in my quest for legislation that will require tethered bottle caps. I want to add your voice and all other concerned voices to mine.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

They say necessity is the mother of invention, when I discovered the the amount of single use bottle caps allowed to litter Earth's ECO system, I put my mind to work on a solution.

Tell us about your work experience

I am a life long inventor, I have been seeking solutions to problems my whole life and take great pride in helping animal and man kind and in making the world a safe and better place.

Please describe your legal and organizational structure

ThisCap INC is US C-Corp.

Attachments (1)

ThisCap Video large.mp4

New bottle cap innovation

This inspired (1)

FUNCAP

30 comments

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Spam
Photo of Carolina Mndz
Team

This is a great idea! In recent years i have seen most of the beverages companies adopt a new sustainable practices to add to their social responsibility campaigns. I think this idea has great potential there.

Spam
Photo of Priyanka Singh
Team

Just came across this idea, its awesome!!

Spam
Photo of Alan Somerfield
Team

Hi Michael,

Congratulations on your win - I always thought yours was by far the best of the tethered caps and a great solution that was hard to beat which is why I didn't pursue the tethered approach. I think that Inbuilt caps for plastic bottles will prove extremely challenging to manufacture. Have you had any feedback from any big consumer brands to your design? I wonder what if they think tethered caps are an inconvenience to their consumers when you drink straight from the bottle. All the best of luck, Alan

Spam
Photo of Vanessa Sore
Team

Hi,
Great idea! One in which I believe will have a huge positive impact on the environment.
Does current production only include the one size bottle cap?
Moreover, has the business given consideration to other types of plastic containers (other than water bottles) or other materials other than plastic? If so, how much research has progressed?
I am currently based in Australia, and have yet to come across this concept. Do you produce in this country at all? If not, will this be in the near future?

Cheers,
Vanessa S

Spam
Photo of Lauren Ito
Team

Michael Maguire 

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!

Spam
Photo of Michael Maguire
Team

Thank you Lauren, for all the work you and your whole team do. We will continue to do our part to reduce plastic pollution and keep wildlife habitats safe everywhere and we hope OpenIdea will stand behind us in our quest. Micheal.

Spam
Photo of Christel Tardif
Team

Hey Michael Maguire can you describe a little further what will be you next move to make it a standard i the bottle industry?

Spam
Photo of Michael Maguire
Team

Hi Christel, very nice to meet you.

Spam
Photo of Michael Maguire
Team

To answer your question, we have several aspects of our development that we believe lead to ThisCap to becoming the or a standard. Everyday we reach out to governments around the world to build a network of concerned influential people who understand the problem of single use plastic caps entering the Eco system. Our long term goal, we hope this network will be able to help with, is to create legislation around the world requiring tethered caps on all single use containers, of course we'd like it to be ThisCap but truly our main objective is to solve the problem and we welcome all possible solutions.

Additionally we are in constant contact with the recycling community to help create public awareness of the pollution issues surrounding the plastics industry. We want to join forces with the recycling world to ensure that every cap opened finds it way to a recycling center.

Our biggest step so far has been a relationship we have developed with a machine manufacturing company whose machines are responsible for more than 50% of the caps made worldwide today. This company stands firm in their belief that ThisCap is a viable solution that can enter the market seamlessly and at next to zero extra cost --- so much so that they are willing to offer us access to their existing customer base and no cost upgrades to their machines worldwide. They see ThisCap as an opportunity for them to take part in solving a world problem.

Thank you again Christel, I hope I have answered your question.
Michael

Spam
Photo of Christel Tardif
Team

Thanks for this clarification Michael Maguire you should add the last paragraph in your main idea proposal, it is so important

Spam
Photo of Soren null
Team

What is the feedback from the big bottlers, e.g. the Coca-Cola company? We assume that you want 0.1 cent per bottle cap - and we assume that a lot of bottlers will not give that to you?

Are you hoping for legislators to create the market for you?

You started the competition (a few month ago) with a rendering... and now you have a PCT application pending in 54 nations and the first full scale roll-out in Taiwan! *With Admiration* How did you do that? And, if we may ask, who finances that? (IPR is very expensive)

Spam
Photo of Michael Maguire
Team

@Hans and Soren, thank you for your question and your Admiration.

I'll start with your question about our status, ThisCap was started 4.5 years ago with many different designs each prototyped and brought to industry insiders and in all cases rejected until our current design which has been well received. Once we had our final design about 30 months ago, we began the patent process, our patent submissions are on going and include not only the invention patent of ThisCap but also the manufacturing process and blade/spindle configurations for all possible or conceivable designs. How did we do that?....trust me when I say it has been a lot of work!

Re: Big bottlers: So far, with our current design, we have had only positive response from all brands and bottle/cap manufacturers.

Re: Not sure how you qualify your assumptions not knowing our business model but our intention is to license ThisCap to manufacturers and our current per unit asking price is .0005 usd.

Re: Legislators, we feel strongly that the time has come for tethered caps to be required on all single use containers and we will continue to reach out to socially conscious legislators who will join our team to help reduce all forms of plastic pollution worldwide but we do not consider this a business plan. We have built a very strong business plan with many facets that will help grow our company.

We have a goal and our goal is not to make money, our goal is to reduce the volume of single use plastic caps allowed to proliferate the ECO system and to begin the plastic pollution cleanup process necessary to protect Earths natural habitat. If we stay true to our goal, we will succeed.

Spam
Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Michael!

There are 7 days left in the refinement phase.

If there is key information in the comments on your idea submission, I recommend that you move them to the main body of your idea submission before the cut-off time.

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.

Spam
Photo of Michael Maguire
Team

Thank you Kate, I am working on the refinement questions again now after learning that it will not be possible to retrieve the lost data. I'll have everything completed again with in a day or two.

I will also update the main body with additions from the comments section.

Thank uou you again for all you do.

Michael

Spam
Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Michael!

Welcome to refinement phase!

Would you elaborate more on this - ‘ThisCap is currently commercially available in Taiwan’? How many caps have been sold?

How much additional material is used per cap?

How easy is it to remove caps during recycling?

It might be worth including the following sentence in the main body of your idea post - ‘All the manufacturer has to do is exchange a small part on one of their machines that we provide free of charge. The cost of the part is $50.00 and takes about 5 minutes to install and suddenly, their existing cap becomes ThisCap.’

I noticed this ‘At this point we are well past prototyping’. Who else is working on ThisCap?

Please feel free to include answers of a sensitive nature in the Refinement Questions document.

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.

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 - krushton@ideo.com

Spam
Photo of Soren null
Team

Michael Maguire Hi Michael, we saw a similar idea from a guy in Korea. He has a granted US patent (https://www.lens.org/images/patent/US/9108774/B2/US_9108774_B2.pdf) - but no (it seems?) products in the market. Are there any systemic barriers to entry for this concept which seems pretty easy to implement - at least as a pilot somewhere! In any case: Good luck!

Spam
Photo of Michael Maguire
Team

Hi Hans and Soren, yes, I am very familiar with this design and product, sadly it also can not be brought to market due the complicated manufacturing process involved to produce the cap. The most important problem that must be considered for any new product solution to plastic cap pollution is transition to market. I have literally created more than 100 different designs all rejected by industry insiders. I've spent the last 5 years of my life seeking a solution that would be accepted. The criteria I had to meet was zero extra cost of the end product and zero line changes for manufacturer. If you consider that there are more than 6 billion caps opened every day you can imagine how costly it would be to the industry to change the design of the current manufactured caps. The beauty of ThisCap is that it requires no line changes to create, we simply modify the blade profile that is used to create a standard cap perforation and any cap becomes ThisCap. The standard blades are changed once a day and our blades are as well so there is no additional cost and also no additional down time.

The additional criteria I had to meet is to create a functioning tether with a design that encompass not more than 1mm of height below the threaded area of the cap. This is very key particularly for carbonated beverages in order to sustain a proper seal. ThisCap meets all the necessary criteria and is now being accepted by manufacturers all around the world.

Spam
Photo of Soren null
Team

In the event that you don't get a granted patent, will you still be able to commercialize the idea?

Spam
Photo of Michael Maguire
Team

Thank you for your question Hans & Soren, ThisCap is already being commercially produced and is fully patented in the US and Taiwan and has 54 pending PCT submissions in all major markets around the world.

However, our primary goal is not to profit from the development of ThisCap but rather to solve the problem of single use plastic cap pollution. We intend to authorize the use of ThisCap in several regions around the world where the economy will not support a profit model and a portion of the profit we do see will be donated to help clean up existing plastic already polluting Earth's land and seas.

Spam
Photo of Soren null
Team

Wow, congrats! Let's hope for the best when you get exposed to the wonders of the German Gebrauchmuster (a true novelty killer!). Anyway, more importantly: You say that the product is already being commercially produced? Where do you sell, how many have you sold so far, and in which segments? What is the feedback from the market?

Spam
Photo of Cary Howe
Team

Attaching a cap to a bottle. How many entries had the same idea? 50+?

Spam
Photo of Michael Maguire
Team

Hi Cary, yes, there are several very interesting ideas submitted to this category. I have been working on ThisCap full time for more than 4 years now and trust me when I say that getting a product from initial concept trough all the necessary phases to finally reach the market place is a challenge and a test of an ideas ability to prevail.

You can never have enough ideas! I hope fresh young, creative minds will continue to dream about making the world better and have the determination to see their dreams come true. Michael Maguire, CEO ThisCap Inc.

www.thiscap.com

Spam
Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Congratulations on being today's Featured Contribution!

Spam
Photo of Michael Maguire
Team

WOW!!! What an honor. Thank you so very much for your thoughtfulness and concern for the safety of Earths precious wildlife creatures. We hope to really make a difference....let's do that together.

Spam
Photo of Magui Trucco
Team

good idea! Congratulations

Spam
Photo of Michael Maguire
Team

Thank you for your kind words. I hope we will all work together to solve the problem of plastic pollution of Earths wildlife habitat. Michael

Spam
Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Michael,

It is good to see you in the challenge with This Cap.

It would be great to know what changes to the current plastics system are needed to implement this idea i.e. the manufacturing of plastic caps and bottles (machines, process etc)?

If you have already started prototyping your idea, what are the biggest challenges or surprises you have encountered? What insights did you gain from this prototyping process from your users and the market?

Spam
Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Also, are you on LinkedIn? There is a Circular Design Guide Group - https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8585051? This group is about design & the circular economy. It's run jointly by IDEO and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Spam
Photo of Michael Maguire
Team

Yes, I/we are on Linked in as well as Michael Maguire.

I have joined this group and I will also participate in the Webinar on on the 21st. I am looking forward to hearing other folks ideas and possibly participating in group think-tanks that are focused on reducing plastic pollution and other solvable world problems. Michael Maguire

Spam
Photo of Michael Maguire
Team

Hi Kate, thank you so much for your support and interest in ThisCap and our dream of eliminating plastic bottle cap pollution world wide.

Your questions are easily answered,

Question 1:
There are no challenges for the current bottle cap industry to adopt ThisCap as the new standard. That is the beauty of my design, it is a seamless transition to the current manufacturing line. All the manufacturer has to do is exchange a small part on one of their machines that we provide free of charge. The cost of the part is $50.00 and takes about 5 minutes to install and suddenly, their existing cap becomes ThisCap.

Question 2:
At this point we are well past prototyping, ThisCap is currently commercially available in Taiwan and will be released in China, India, many parts of Africa and all over Europe before the end of the year. The prototyping process was very challenging, I had more than 100 versions of tethered bottle caps that were all rejected by the bottling industry before I settled on the current version which has now been welcomed by the bottle industry all over the world.

Question 3:
The bottling industry and I have two different end goals, the industry is profit driven and my goal is to reduce plastic pollution and to keep Earth's wildlife environment safe. It was a difficult task to bridge this gap because the industry will not accept any product that will increase cost or negatively affect sales so I had to come up with a design that the consumer would be comfortable using and even prefer and at zero extra cost to the manufacturer. ThisCap meets all of the criteria and our focus groups have proved worldwide that the consumer loves the addition of ThisCap on their Beverage and Chemical products.

Thank you for taking the time to review ThisCap, I hope we together can help to reduce the proliferation of plastic bottle caps in Earth's delicate ECO system. Michael Maguire