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Plastic Ring Cutter

Cut the plastic when it's removed.
  [vote for,

I think a very simple (and cost-effective) solution to the problem with plastic ring beverage holders would be to weld a small ring of .030 steel safety wire to the can, so that the plastic is clamped to the can. This would make it so that the only way to remove the plastic is to break it, simply by pulling. The steel wire will easily cut the plastic, and with minimal effort on the part of the consumer. To protect the consumer from being pricked by the end of the wire (trust me, it can be quite painful), simply cap the end with a small ball of wax or plastic. This would save the eco-friendly consumer the trouble of having to cut each ring by hand afterword.

It also saves the manufacturer from having to spend millions of dollars replacing their existing machines with something completely different, which makes it more likely for manufacturers to comply with the proposed change.

(edit) My apologies for being so inconsiderate. Of course, this idea was inspired by the "Cowgum Six-packs" idea, originally posted by [DrCurry]

21 Quest, Jan 30 2006

inspiration? http://www.halfbake...a/Cowgum_20Sixpacks
[po, Jan 30 2006]

Here's how http://www.esabna.c...uminum-to-Steel.cfm
[21 Quest, Nov 13 2010]

Get educated http://en.wikipedia...ironmental_concerns
[21 Quest, Nov 13 2010]


       Not a bad idea, frankly I'm surprised it hasn't already been baked in some form or another.
Mr Phase, Jan 30 2006

       That wire and wax ball goes right into my eye, every time I take a drink. But it tastes so good, I can't stop. Until I cant see the can.
bungston, Jan 30 2006

       I'm sure perforated plastic would be a simpler and cheaper solution.
fridge duck, Jan 30 2006

       It's easy enough to create plastic with tear strips without any wire inserts - look at medicine bottle packaging.

       But you're still leaving the landfills full of plastic ring clutter. Now reinforced with wire.

       And using wire makes this economically unfeasible - metal is much more expensive than plastic.
DrCurry, Jan 30 2006

       .030 steel wire is actually quite cheap. I've used this stuff on just about every part of my plane to hold stuff together, along with .032 steel wire and .030 copper wire. It's all very cheap. When CTK ran out once, I've actually gone to the hardware store and bought a sh*t load of it myself, when I was making Airman's pay. The risk of putting out an eye is negligible because I'm talking about a tiny ring smaller than the diameter of a dime. Unless you're washing your eye out with the stuff, it wouldn't come even close.
21 Quest, Jan 30 2006

       I would think it more practical to have the six-pack holder incorporate a "zip tab" which would sever the rings when pulled from the proper direction. Perforating the rings without incorporating such a tab would likely result in either the rings remaining unbroken when cans were removed, or else in rings breaking prematurely.
supercat, Jan 30 2006

       Why not just make them biodegradeble, maybe from water? That way you save the environment, and possibly a few fish along the way.

       Not sure if this is possible even, I don't know much about the making of plastics.   

       Now all you have to do is figure out how to weld steel to aluminum.
5th Earth, Jan 30 2006

       Steel to aluminium? perfectly possible, the normal method is to use a bimetallic transition insert. Or, if you wan't to go exotic, you can use explosion welding to join pretty much any two metals together. I believe HIP welding can also do it. Either way, power generation, aircraft and marine applications have made use of dissimilar metal welding for years.

       It's cheaper to bond them though.
bs0u0155, Nov 12 2010

       Plastic sixpack holders are still used? That's kinda backwards and anti-environmental. They were banned here about 15 years ago.
infidel, Nov 12 2010

       It isn't backwards, because we never stopped using them over here. Backwards would be banning them, then going back to them a few years later after realizing there really isn't another cost-effective material that does the job quite as well.

       (I'm not saying there isn't such a material, mind you, just putting forth an example of backward thinking.)

       See link for a how-to on welding steel to aluminum. Here's an excerpt:

       //Coating The Dissimilar Material Prior To Welding: A coating can be applied to steel to facilitate its arc welding to aluminum. One method is to coat the steel with aluminum. This is sometimes achieved by dip coating (hot dip aluminizing), or brazing the aluminum to the surface of the steel. Once coated, the steel member can be arc welded to the aluminum member, if care is taken to prevent the arc from impinging on the steel. A technique must be used during welding to direct the arc onto the aluminum member and allow the molten aluminum from the weld pool to flow onto the aluminum coated steel. Another method of joining aluminum to steel involves coating the steel surface with silver solder. The joint is then welded using aluminum filler alloy, taking care not to burn through the barrier layer of silver solder. Neither of these coating type joint methods are typically depended upon for full mechanical strength and are usually used for sealing purposes only.//

       In the application proposed by my idea, we only need the weld to be stronger than the plastic ring.
21 Quest, Nov 13 2010

       //because we never stopped using them over here//

       Like cheap Mexican labour and jongoistic foreign policy?
infidel, Nov 13 2010

       Here's something you're probably not aware of, infidel (I'll post a link to the article this is copied from):

       //However, six-pack rings are a relatively minor contributor to marine litter and wildlife fatalities. Fishing gear and other plastic wastes are a larger problem. Six Pack carrier rings are made to photo-degrade within 90 days of being littered. This is in accordance with the U.S. Federal standard for testing plastic photo-degradation, which is 40 CFR Ch. I (7–1–03 Edition)PART 238 //

       Here's a big part of the reason they're still around (backward thinking, hmmm?):

       //The demand for six-pack carriers may continue indefinitely and is supported, at least in part, by an active secondary market for repackaging by retailers. The repackaging trend began in 1983 when multi-pack carriers were made available to the retail community by MPI, a company owned by Nancy Mumm.//
21 Quest, Nov 13 2010

       I am aware of the fact they are required by US law to degrade within 90 days. (There doesn't seem to be an Export Administration Regulation embargo to keep that nugget of information close to the chests of your national security apparatus.)

       Does it make you feel proud that the omnipotent leaders of The Benighted Federation of Sixpackistan have decided to throw turtles and seabirds a lifeline by having them wait three months for these things to set them free?

       Personally, I'm not sure how three months can be justified a "reasonable" time to restrict or curtail the enjoyment of life by innocent animals, in order that some pack of "God, Mom and apple pie" redneck beerswillers who probably lack opposable thumbs, can carry six cans of hops-flavoured dishwater to a marine dumpsite.

       Three months is still three months longer to degrade than cardboard, which seems to do a perfectly good job of keeping a half-dozen cans of beer or soft drinks together elsewhere in the world.
infidel, Nov 13 2010

       Then you missed the bit about how small a number of animals are actually affected by them compared to other waste, and the bit about repackaging. Besides, I thought you hate small animals.
21 Quest, Nov 13 2010

       On the plus side, snakes and stoats will have a selective advantage. I like snakes and I like stoats.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 16 2010


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