A next generation packaging technology for our emerging circular economy
The road to commercialization can be a tricky one, but with the right idea, the right supportive team and the right funding, innovative changes to everyday products are becoming a reality. Vivia Ventures B.V., whose breakthrough design-tech for the EasyPop® bottle is making headway with their recyclable, cap free, straw free and spill-free design-tech for the emerging circular economy.
The EasyPop® bottle is an answer to the global rise in plastic use, by eliminating hard plastic caps. Not only is this product environmentally conscious, but the design is also for all ages and abilities. Those with difficulties in muscle strength- such as arthritis- need only to apply little pressure to “POP” the bubble that allows for the EasyPop® bottle package to open.
Recently, Vivia Ventures was awarded a grant via the MIT-Haalbaarheidsproject. This new study aims to gather insights for the best possible commercial strategies for Vivia Ventures’ patented design-tech solution for sustainable beverage and liquid product packaging.
In light of this exciting news, we spoke with co-directors of Vivia Ventures, Cheryl E. van Seventer Harrison and William S. Perell, to discuss what this grant will mean for them. They spoke about their ambitions for the future and how Catalyze team members helped to make the grant successful.
William, the inventor behind the EasyPop® concept, described how their packaging design-tech saves on plastic and increases usability: “What we have developed is a technology that can eliminate a huge amount of plastic. If you look at caps taking up 15-20 % of plastic used in a bottle, we can have a massive impact on the total plastic used in a liquid container.”
Cheryl added, “When recycling an EasyPop® bottle, there is only one type of plastic material instead of numerous plastic materials to sort and separate, such as the cap, plastic ring, applied label. EasyPop® is much more efficient to separate all-in-one process, making it less expensive to recycle. So, the incentive to recycle the EasyPop® bottle at scale is higher.”
Not only does the EasyPop® bottle design increase the ease of recycling, it is also expected to create a positive impact on the amount of plastic packaging entering waterways and oceans. William highlighted a further environmental consideration behind his design: “We understand that last year there were over 2 trillion plastic packages of all types produced worldwide, many of which are for liquids and have caps. Our invention eliminates the most harmful plastic in waterways that is uncollectable waste such as caps, which get separated and lost to waste streams more easily.”
As William told us, the principle of the EasyPop® design-tech can be used on many different packaging types for both liquid and solid products, so there are numerous potential positive impacts for those with difficulties handling and opening packaging. The functional packaging, a form of ‘sensory’ packaging design, provides an appealing audible feedback when opened, enhancing package functionality, convenience, quality, and consumer safety. Furthermore, this is great news for brand owners and the packaging industry who seek more sustainable packaging solutions.
Looking to the future, Cheryl describes how Vivia Ventures plans to upscale the EasyPop® design-tech: “One of the elements of the grant is that we will be making a commercial-ready prototype. To do that, we will work with commercial partners, such as packaging machinery companies who have the the capability to scale this product globally.” Cheryl and William are confident that once consumers have the products in their hands and experience the EasyPop® bottle containing a branded liquid product, they will receive the positive feedback needed to take global production to the next stage. Basic packaging machinery retrofits will soon be able to produce these commercially-viable EasyPop® packages at economical rates at a large scale.
“If we had written a script, I don’t think working with Catalyze could have come out any better!”
The process of “working with Catalyze could not have gone any better”, according to William. “Our Catalyze partners were enthusiastic, well-informed, knowledgeable… they really went the extra mile. If they had ideas related to what we were doing they would volunteer, providing valuable energy and creativity to our project.”
Cheryl appreciated the ability of the Catalyze team to bring instant clarity regarding what grant would be the right choice for the EasyPop® project. “From the start, Catalyze instantaneously identified what the requirements of a grant should be, so that we could stay very focused. They anticipated the different phases and stages of the project, and efficiently identified the submission content that would be needed well ahead of time, giving us plenty of time to prepare. We are delighted with our Catalyze partnership and the results achieved!”
More about Vivia Ventures and EasyPop®.
Information about MIT-Haalbaarheidsproject here