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06. Safe fragrances
05. DNA mass information store
04. Garden mounds for permaculture
03. Silver as high-tech material
02. Micro needle transmits medications and light
01. Electricity storage in gravity systems

12. An eye on space hazards
11. Water purification through freezing
10. Solar shingles
09. Trinary code
08. Vegetation-based battery materials
07. Indoor position location
06. The interface industry
05. Hypersonic aircraft
04. Re-usable glass packaging
03. Vein patterns as personal ID
02. Magnet making bacteria
01. Ultra-light solids

12. Ultrasound in water
11. Projected touchscreen
10. Electric airplane
08. Glass hard disc
04. Nuclear hazard
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02. Water harvesting
01. Tea bag size personal water filter

12. Human powered water transport
11. The Technium
08. Bio-remediation of oil spills
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12. ebooks
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04. Manufactured Hotels
03. Magnetic Induction
02. Genetic Vaults
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12 Bacteria in agriculture and industry
11. Blue revolution
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07. Thought activated technology
06. Green is cool - make me look green
05. Electronic 'drugs'
04. Super-canals and super-ships
03. Environmentally friendly technology: greens versus grays
02. Agriculture: food,fiber and fuel
01. FPGA floating-point performance surpasses microprocessor

08. Energy sources for electricity compete
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01. Introducing Technoscan Newsbriefs

Vol. 7, No. 4. April 30, 2012
ISSN 1932-3018

Re-usable glass packaging
Positioning this technology in the
Functionality Grid
Reformatted from: Van Wyk, Rias J: Technology - A Unifying Code, 2004, SMG, Cape Town, p.34. Based on: Ropohl, Gunter: Eine Systemtheorie der Technik, 1979, Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich and Vienna, p.178.
This Newsbrief deals with a revival of interest in glass bottles and containers. In particular it draws attention to reports of consumer resistance to certain kinds of plastic. In terms of the Atlas of Technology it is concerned with the storage of matter (M).
The three major materials used in durable packaging are:
  • Plastics
  • Metals
  • Glass
Recently evidence has emerged of a shift in consumer preference. Increasingly glass is being preferred. The reasons given are consumer disaffection with plastic containers, such as water bottles, as well as with plastic liners used in food cans. Consumers mention a resistance to bisphenol A, a chemical that mimics estrogen. (Ruark, S., "More consumers choosing reusable glass bottles" New York Times, June 20, 2012). Consumers also report a concern for physical pollution, as dramatized by the vortex of plastic waste in the Pacific ocean.
The transition from one packaging material to another is a process that usually starts slowly and then speeds up as the challenger increases market share. In the case of glass a well-known problem exists, glass containers tend to break. To overcome this deficiency manufacturers are working on containers that do not shatter. One approach is an unbreakable exterior coating that holds possible broken glass together. The transition will not be smooth. The new product requires special manufacturing procedures different from the present mass production practices. But because market penetration is at an early stage, production runs are relatively short.
On the NASA nine point scale of technology readiness levels, the new containers are at TRL 7.

© Rias J. van Wyk, 2013. Editor.