We all know the problems plastic poses to our environment. It litters our landscape. Fishes eat it. Birds and other animals get caught in those little plastic rings.
Yet we are forced to use plastics: utensils when we are on the go, bottles of water, and we are all keenly aware of the scourge of the plastic straw. These leave many of us with feelings of guilt. If you care, you probably spend a few minutes with your scissors cutting up 6-pack rings envisioning all the turtles that won’t be forever disfigured or the birds that won’t starve to death with their beaks caught in a plastic ring.
There are new alternatives for 6-pack yokes that are biodegradable and compostable, made from barley and wheat. But, like their predecessors made from corn, they can readily degrade in storage or on the shelf long before they ever make it to the compost pile.
Recently, I’ve noticed micro-breweries are using this ringless device. No more rings, but alas, it’s still plastic.
Thanks to the brilliant and inquisitive mind of Christopher Stuhlmann, a beautifully (can we even call snot-glue beautiful?) simple solution to one of plastic’s problems: those dreaded plastic rings. I surmise it will even save money after the cost of machinery is amortized.
To their further credit, they aren’t hoarding the intellectual property, rather sharing it with everyone. Well done! I love it when good design does good.
Will it sway an undecided buyer in the store to purchase Carlsberg over another beer? Unlikely. Will it earn new customers based on this alone? Possibly. Depends on the strength of the marketing. Will it cement brand loyalty in current Carlsberg drinkers? Absolutely. A Carlsberg drinker will pick up their 6-pack and notice it’s different almost immediately. Once they pull them apart and aside from a small slug of rubbery glue, there is no refuse, no rings to cut apart, just pure unexpected delight.
And this is where the gold lies… Any time you can provide unexpected delight, you’ve taken a big step forward in your relationship with your customer.