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Prototype product dispenser is designed to squeeze every last drop out

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October 18, 2012

The Zero Waste Twist Dispenser is a prototype container designed to let consumers use ever...

The Zero Waste Twist Dispenser is a prototype container designed to let consumers use every last drop of liquid goods

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Does it bother you that you can’t get all of the liquid out of the bottom of a hand-pump-equipped container? Well, the folks at Pack Flow Concepts think that it should. According to them, such containers don’t dispense up to 15 percent of the ketchup, shampoo, soap or other liquid stored inside of them. That’s why Pack Flow is developing the Zero Waste Twist Dispenser.

The prototype device consists of a cylindrical outer shell, inside of which is a disc-shaped platform. As the user presses a button on the lid of the dispenser (which would ultimately have a spout built into it), that disc incrementally ratchets its way up from the bottom of the inside of the shell – each press moves it up a little more. No batteries or other power source are required.

By pressing a button on top of the Zero Waste, users cause a disc inside of it to move up,...

Inside the container, resting on top of the disc, would be a soft, flexible packet of the liquid product. As the disc moved up, it would force the liquid from that packet, and out of the dispenser’s spout.

According to Pack Flow, not only would this allow consumers to get almost every drop of the product that they paid for, but it would also minimize spoilage, as the unused liquid wouldn’t be as exposed to the air.

The idea is that the first time someone bought a certain liquid product, they would buy a packet of it and one of that product’s custom Zero Waste Dispensers. Every time they needed more, however, they would just buy packets and put them in the existing dispenser. Pack Flow’s Steve Derby told us that such a system might be about 10 to 15 percent more expensive than traditional packaging for the first purchase of the product, but that the cost would be more than made up for by subsequently only buying the inexpensive packets – and by not wasting as much of the liquid.

Additionally, the packets would be compostable, so they theoretically wouldn’t stick around for too long after being discarded.

A rendering of a possible commercial version of the Zero Waste Twist Dispenser
A rendering of a possible commercial version of the Zero Waste Twist Dispenser

The company is currently looking for corporate customers interested in adopting the technology. Another company, ANYWAY Spray, is offering a spray bottle with a special intake tube designed not to let any liquid go unused.

Source: Pack Flow Concepts

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
9 Comments

Forgive my cynicism here...but might this just lead product manufacturers to give you less product and charge you more for it?

DOC HOLLYWOOD
18th October, 2012 @ 04:30 pm PDT

Why bother with this when you could just coat the inside of the container with a superhydrophobic substance?

Kind of like this:

Joel Detrow
18th October, 2012 @ 06:08 pm PDT

This almost seems to be a solution without a problem. On the consumer level, most (not all) condiments and bath products come in squeeze bottles which are increasingly being designed to be stored with the dispenser end down allowing gravity to do the work of keeping all of the product ready for dispensing with minimal waste.

This might be a fantastic product for fast food restaurants that use pump dispensers though.

Rt1583
18th October, 2012 @ 08:26 pm PDT

Would the spout be part of the replacable package or the non-disposable outer?

Problem I can see is one of basic hygeine- pump spouts are hard to clean properly, and they are open to the air at the outlet end. So I would be concerned, particularly with sauces, etc, that they would never be cleaned out. Egg-based sauces, such as mayonnaise, are particularly risky.

I do share with the designers the annoyance at not being able to get at the last bit of product. Normally with things like anti-bacterial hand wash I balance the old bottle on top of the new to get the last dregs out, then fill it with warm water to wash my hands with. You used to be able to buy handwash in the UK in pump dispenser and pumpless refills but they seem to have stopped doing that, so you end up throwing away a perfectly good pump.

bergamot69
19th October, 2012 @ 10:07 am PDT

15% inaccessible material means 18% increase in product sales. If mfrs could figure out how to dispense only 50%, doubling their revenues, you think they wouldn't do it if they could get away with it? A noble cause, but consumers accept the inaccessible laundry detergent, etc, and mfrs make money and the decision on the dispensers, so I seriously doubt this will gain much, if any, use

solutions4circuits
19th October, 2012 @ 10:42 am PDT

I think this is a awesome,! I'm tired of losing 15% ofmy product. what a totally green concept. and also a consumer friendly idea.

Laurel OBrien Dawson
19th October, 2012 @ 03:28 pm PDT

please excuse my previous post, I have never used an iPad keyboard before. love the idea of this dispenser. love the finger model!

Laurel OBrien Dawson
20th October, 2012 @ 04:37 pm PDT

But won't we still leave 15% of the product in the original container as we transfer it to this gizmo?

warren52nz
22nd October, 2012 @ 01:13 pm PDT

I am so frustrated with the liquid that is left behind by the pump. I don't get why they don't just put a bit longer of a tube in there so it reaches the bottom. I end up either turning the old one upside down and letting it drain into the new one (I have even created connected pathways out of the old caps to facilitate this) or I cut the bottle in to 2 halves using a razor knife and then I scoop the product out or put it back together and allow the tube to now reach the bottom.

Something like this has my full support.

Paul Anthony
23rd October, 2012 @ 01:10 pm PDT
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