Paint-Free Coke Can Saves Energy, Reduces Pollution

by , 11/23/09

sustainable design, green design, coke can, harc lee, unibody coke can, monochromatic coke can, product packaging, recycling

Designer Harc Lee has created a “naked” Coca Cola can that forfeits Coke’s typical bold red and white stripes in favor of au naturale silver. The aluminum can is created without using any paints or dyes, and stands to greatly reduce pollution and energy use associated with producing and recycling soda cans.

sustainable design, green design, coke can, harc lee, unibody coke can, monochromatic coke can, product packaging, recycling

Instead of coloring the can with toxic dyes and paints used on traditional Coca-Cola Classic cans, Harc Lee‘s monochrome coke can would use a pressing machine to make the brand stand out from its background. The result is a sleek, updated look fitting for a 21st-century beverage.

Though the can may be silver, its design is decidedly green. By giving up its bold colors, the can reduces air and water pollution that occurs during the coloring process and eliminating the energy and toxic dyes required to give the can its color. Plus, the naked can streamlines the recycling process: before any aluminum can can be recycled, it must first be stripped of its paint. Ditching color during production saves a ton of energy and effort at the recycling plant.

Sure, this is just one type of can in America’s ever-growing lineup of tasty, single-serving beverages. But let’s put things into perspective: according to Gizmodo, Coca Cola produced 67.8 million cans of Coca Cola Classic in 2007. That’s about 24.7 billion cans a year! And if Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Zero also adopted the naked look, the tally would total about 75.3 billion cans every year.

It’s unclear whether Coca-Cola will pick up the new look, but we should definitely give props to Harc Lee for coming up with such an innovative design. It’s up to consumers to convince advertisers and beverage producers that brands can still retain their own identities even without bright, bold colors on the labels.

+ Harc Lee

Via Sundance Channel and Gizmodo

Tipped by Anna Brew

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  1. Ken J December 4, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    I would think that glass bottles would be more sustainable.

  2. Girish Awanti December 4, 2009 at 3:32 am

    The above idea is too Good and i liked it. It really saves lots of time, money and energy.

    If Coke or others adopt this it be a better contribution to the Environment.

  3. NotSoDumb November 26, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    How can these guys be so uncreative?

    Printing a bar code and a few logos to show which one is regular, zero, diet or light will really use less paint than painting the whole can. Also, The amount of energy to stamp the can would be the same or less then the amount used to actually paint.

    You complain too much. And, anyway, I bet Coke wont adopt it.

  4. iNspiter November 26, 2009 at 12:48 am

    And what about bar-code? How can be barcode recognized if being embossed instead of being printed?

  5. spavis November 25, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    +1 to Coke Drinker & Steve. Infeasible and counterproductive.

    but pretty!

  6. AnnyPan November 25, 2009 at 6:55 am

    The can looks wonderful, but I agree with Coke Drinker and Steve… the aluminium molding seems not to be that much sustainable, compared with a label. And you have to set up a mold for every kind of product… Unfeasible, at all!

  7. stevenpfalkowski November 24, 2009 at 8:22 am

    Can the fine print and labelling be embossed, too? Can a barcode be embossed? It’s a sexy look, but it isn’t applicable to reality. Maybe for the movies?

  8. Coke Drinker November 23, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Does it really save energy? How much does it cost to stamp the cans? How much enegy is concumed by those huge stampers? Does the stamping weaken the can? Will a heavier guage of aluminum be required? How many cans can be stamped from one die?

    On a brand recognition note, if all brands had the same color, it would be too difficult to distinguish between Coke Classic and Coke Zero. You gotta have color.

    Why can’t Coke use waterbased colorants?

  9. Kirsten Corsaro November 23, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Wow- I love how that looks. I think that would be a great change.

  10. ecroxall November 23, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Even if Coke did apodt this design it would be a drop in the ocean in countering their horrific environmental and human rights record.

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