New packaging, incorporating a very slippery surface, could save considerable amounts of water, resources and money
Spotted: Ever get frustrated when that last bit of shampoo or ketchup just won’t come out of the bottle? Well, you may be in luck. A new line of packaging has been designed to defy friction and allows you to get every last drop out of almost any container. The slippery packaging was developed by LiquiGlide and is already in use in a host of products.
LiquiGlide was spun out of the MIT lab of Kripa Varanasi, a professor of mechanical engineering at MIT. Varanasi and his team, which included company co-founder Dave Smith, developed liquid-impregnated surfaces. These use textured surfaces to hold a liquid layer in place, creating a slippery surface. These surfaces can be made from a wide range of combinations of materials, so they can be designed to be edible or to withstand harsh industrial environments.
LiquiGlide has recently launched a line of zero-waste packaging called EveryDrop, designed for the health and beauty industry. The super-slippery bottles allow manufacturers to make more concentrated products – sticky products like conditioners are usually combined with a lot of water so they can be dispensed. But the EveryDrop allows companies to consume (and ship) much less water and to package the product in smaller, lighter-weight bottles that use less carbon to ship.
The new bottles are also easier to recycle because they do not need to be cleaned out first. And, of course, less product is wasted, which also saves resources in manufacturing and shipping. The packaging was designed in conjunction with industrial designer, Yves Béhar, who describes the potential of the product: “When combined with design innovation, the LiquiGlide technology is an opportunity to completely transform primary packaging and to finally bring about a cyclical system of “zero waste” — from product design to disposal — to drive responsible consumption.”
We have recently seen a number of innovations aimed at making packaging more sustainable. These range from the use of unique materials, such as the French fry packaging made from potato peels to compostable packaging made from agricultural waste.
Written By: Lisa Magloff