Inventor Kirby Kendall recalls that, after reading that discarded bottle caps can be ingested by sea life, he decided to create a hinged bottle cap by the design-for-manufacturing approach. He refers to his innovation as the Hinged Beverage Cap.
Kendall informs Packaging Digest that his design has met the requirements below, making it attractive to industry:
• The hinged cap stays attached to the bottle via the security ring,
• The cap & security ring can be hand-removed from the bottle for easy segregation,
• The closure is manufactured only by compression molding and a circumference cut,
• The cap snaps into an open position and does not touch the drinker's face, and
• The cap works without any bottle modification.
In addition to realizing sustainability and marketing advantages, the design is patent pending so that the adopting company will have a financial incentive to bring the new design to market.
A single, circular cut creates the security ring and flexing bands, leaving uncut the security break tabs and the internal hinge.
Kendall's next step is to identify a contact who can gauge the potential of a new soda/water bottle cap that is hinged to reduce pollution, easily removed for recycling, and has a manufacturing process attractive to industry.
Kendall provides Packaging Digest with the following information via a brief Q&A:
This would be made of conventional materials for caps, likely polypropylene or similar polymers?
Yes, the idea is that the mold for a conventional PP compression mold line would be all that changes. The second part of the manufacturing process where the security skirt is cut would remain unchanged. Ideally, it is almost a drop-in for current beverage closure manufacturing equipment.
What kind of interest have you seen?
I've just begun the process of contacting beverage and closure companies (only since filing in June). So the replies are just starting while I'm still deep in the stage of identifying appropriate people to contact. Ideally, an interested company will team with me to refine and test the design for its use.
A 30-second video of the innovation can be seen at YouTube by clicking here. Kendall's phone number and email are available at the video link.