Paint-free Coke Can Saves Enegy, Reduces Pollution

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.

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.

By Sarah Parsons, http://www.inhabiat.com. November 23, 2009

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