Energy Gel Litter

why we don't put a "litter leash" on e-Gel packets

We often get asked to add a “litter leash” to the e-Gel pack to stop athletes from throwing the top tear-off tab on the ground. We spent quite a bit of time studying this, but easily came to the conclusion that this is a BAD idea. Once again, we think different than most of our competitors, let me explain why

Just Don't Litter.

First, the litter leash used by Clif SHOT is patented. Why on earth if you really cared about the environment you would lock this up with a patent, thus limiting it’s use, is beyond me. There are WAY more GU packs in the world than Clif SHOT packs (not to mention e-Gel and all the rest). That said, certainly there would be a way to design around the patent. But is it a good idea in the first place?

The glaring problem is that in order to add the litter leash you have to make the side seal approx twice as wide as it needs to be. Look at the pictures above, you’ll see that the e-Gel side seal is approximately 1/4 inch, but on the Clif pack it’s nearly double. Approx 1/4 inch has been added to for the leash.

Why is this a big deal? The material used to make each pack of Clif SHOT is at least 9 inches long (front, back and bottom). You need to multiply the extra width of the litter leash times 9 inches to see the full impact. If it is 1/4” x 9, that equals 2.25 square inches of extra film for every pack.

See the problem yet? Two square inches may not seem like a lot, but now consider that millions of gel packs are sold every year. That’s millions and millions of square inches of packaging waste, just to accommodate the minority group of inconsiderate athletes that are too lazy to stash their trash.

I’m sorry, but that makes zero sense!

Further, I would hazard to guess that some of the SLOBS that don’t care about littering are also likely to throw the entire pack on the ground when they are finished, litter leash and all!

How about we concentrate on using less packaging materials and getting people to stop littering in the first place? That’s why we print on the top of every pack, right where you tear it open, “just don’t litter”. It’s obviously not going to stop all littering, but it’s a reminder and it has to help a little bit.

Mike Mathewson
President
Crank Sports, Inc.

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my background:

I have been a competitive endurance athlete the majority of my life and and a technology entrepreneur as my day job. I received a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Hampshire, an MBA from Pepperdine University and began studying sports nutrition in the mid-90’s. After starting, growing and selling two technology companies I decided to turn my passion for endurance sports into my career. Working with a great team of food scientists, I launched Crank Sports, Inc. in 2001. Today I spend much of my time working directly with athletes here at Crank Sports and I try to provide as much education as I can through articles and our on-going sports nutrition video series.