Will Liquid Coating Catch On with Plastic Packaging?

Posted by Rob Helmke | Tuesday, November 5, 2013 0 Comments

Here at PI, we know that plastic packaging design has everything to do with how people interact with the products they use every day. The expert minds at MIT, now, seem to have developed a new coating for plastics that could shake things up. Packaging World reports that LiquiGlide, a patent-pending "structured liquid," can be used to coat glass and plastic, creating a super-slippery surface that lubricates whatever it touches—ketchup stuck at the bottom of the bottle, for example, could be a thing of the past.[1]

Of course, the question we have to ask is, can this solution stick?

Why Use It?

LiquiGlide purports to be a solution to an age-old question across industries: How do you get everything out of the package? Even wide-mouth jars for condiments like mayonnaise tend to leave globs behind. LiquiGlide wants to lubricate the inside of your plastic packaging, so those condiments slip and slide right out. The demo videos show viscous substances effortlessly pouring out of bottles, which raises a question of its own: What about the times when you don't want the contents of your plastic packaging to come out that easily?

Packaging Designs Can Encourage Slowing Down


LiquiGlide Heinz Bottle Packaging Heinz Bottle, Photo Courtesy of Pack World


Time has shown us that in expert hands, there are no accidental packaging designs. Every design has a purpose, and sometimes, that purpose includes slowing things down. Coating the inside of a wood glue bottle with a structured liquid lubricant, for example, could make the sticky substance pour out much too quickly—it needs to come out at a measured pace.

Similarly, a company may even build its branding into the way its product is packaged. Heinz ketchup, for example, made waves with its "Good things come to those who wait" ad campaign, playing off its ketchup's notably sluggish manner of pouring. Does a glass and plastic packaging lubricant make it easier to get things out of the bottle? It seems that way. But whether or not this is something that companies find useful is another matter entirely—we're curious ourselves to see whether or not this trend takes off!

[1] http://www.packworld.com/package-feature/dispensing/fight-food-waste-new-structured-liquid-bottle-coating

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