Steve Archambault has designed a ‘smart tab’ that consumers can use to open a can normally, but then swivel round to effect a non-watertight closure, stopping debris and insects from entering the can, preventing children from cutting their fingers on can mouths and reducing spillages.
Archambault (pictured right) who lives in Victoria, British Colombia and works as a golf course groundskeeper, predicts that his invention – which already has a US patent, an international application has been made – could generate millions of dollars in royalties.
But he plans to donate 75% of all revenues to charities and non-profit organisations, via a charity that he will establish soon, called the Uniting the World Foundation.
Helps people with disabilities
Archambault told BeverageDaily.com why he thought his solid, slightly curved tab (pictured below) would catch on – seeing as the idea seemed deceptively simple, and given that resealable closures had already been developed for cans.
“The resealable ones are plastic, which means they are not 100% recyclable, plus it costs more to produce. My tab doesn’t cost anymore to produce than the present one [the ‘stay-on’ tab],” he said.
Added functionality was the major advantage for a wide range of consumers, Archambault explained. “With the curved end, it makes it easier to get your finger in to open the beverage.
“Women won’t ruin nails trying to open it, which is why most women don’t drink out of cans. I’ve had several people with disabilities say that my tab would allow them to open it themselves. Even senior citizens with tired fingers would still be able to do a simple thing like open a beverage.”
Archambault said: “You can spin the tab so it covers the can mouth so wasps can’t get in, as well as other airbourne debris. That’s huge for people who have bee allergies, since people can die if they don’t have an EpiPen [epinephrine autoinjector] and are camping far from a hospital.”
Big beverage talks…
The inventor told this publication that he was speaking to a large beverage manufacturer: “They don’t really want to put their name out there yet until they’re ready to come out with it. But there is interest from a few companies. It’s just a question now of who is going to be the first.”
Archambault said he had spent two years developing the tab, researching the industry for 6-7 months before he started working on the tab, then finding an Ontario-based company that could develop the product.
So how adaptable was his tab to existing cans? “It’s totally adaptable. I can see my tab replacing the [stay-on] tab that is out there right now. So you’re talking about tens of billions of cans a year. When I make this happen it’s going to be quite an accomplishment,” Archambault added.