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Peel-Away Shower Curtain

Postby peelaway » Thu Jul 19, 2007 10:49 am

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I was the inventor of the Peel Away Shower Curtain -- on the Chicago 6/20 episode. If you blinked, you would have missed me, so the concept of the invention was a little lost. I got three out of four yes's, but didn't have a good enough hook to make for good TV. It was a great experience, however, so I'm not sorry I did it. Now, I just have to come up with my own money to make it happen (although it sure would have been nice to have the $50K of their money!).

Postby AmericanCynic » Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:44 pm

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Good luck with it, but I personally really would never buy the product. It's just not friendly to the environment and I don't see how it could be ever made to be friendly. In order to be green, it should be at least biodegradeable, not that modern landfills allow much biodegradation anyway. But there's no way to make it biodegradable because a shower curtain is exposed to a lot of water every day, so it needs to be waterproof and insoluble. So the whole issue comes down to disposal. We already have too much plastic film floating around our oceans thanks to plastic shopping bags. I refuse to contribute to it myself, which is why I always take reusable bags with me when grocery shopping and recycle what few shopping bags I do get from other stores.

Beyond American Inventor TV Show...

Postby WadeSun » Thu Jul 19, 2007 3:39 pm

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The peel away layer was a good idea, but I also thought about disposal in the back of my mind (you will certainly come across many skeptics, so you better be prepared to answer them). Have you done the research to know where disposed shower curtains end up? In landfill? In incinerators? Or recycled? It's true that plastic doesn't biodegrade, but it can be recycled (depends on what kind of plastic it's made out of). Maybe you can find alternate materials. I believe your main competition would be cheap shower curtains and those which are made out of mold-resistant material. There are also the after-shower sprays, you probably already know this. If you can make yours environmentally friendly/recyclable, it truly helps when you market the product. As encouragement to continue on your own, I have ventured my Disc Eraser invention after Season1's show...I have research that indicates shredded and broken CDs end up in landfill as eWaste, because scraps are hard to sort out. There's over 3 million discs in the US every month that requires secure disposal, and most methods and devices make CD recycling difficult because they cut, break, or shred the discs into pieces. Therefore, my product's USP(unique selling point) is that it's the only CD destroyer that promotes CD Recycling by leaving discs intact, yet data secure. Good luck, hope this helps! Wade@sunzag.com :lol:
<p>Wade Sun, SunZag LLC.</p><p><a href="http://www.disceraser.com/">www.DiscEraser.com</a>  Why shred? Recycle instead!</p>

Postby AmericanCynic » Thu Jul 19, 2007 8:03 pm

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The only problem I can see with the Disc Eraser (though no fault of yours) is that municipal recycling systems will not accept the polycarbonate discs for recycling since there are no facilities for processing PC. All they can take are PET and HDPE.

On the bright side, at least AOL is no longer wasting tons of CDs mailing them to people who are better served by regular ISPs.

Thanks for Feedback

Postby peelaway » Fri Jul 20, 2007 8:04 am

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I'm just in the beginning stages of product development, so it is really great to hear feedback. I completely understand the need for Peel Away to be as environmentally friendly as possible. While at first glance it may appear to be wasteful, it is no more so than regular liners for the average user. My research tells me people replace their liners at least once a year and most people replace them much more often. My liner's plastic use is equivalent to one normal liner because the layers are extremely thin. So, depending on a consumer's usage, Peel Away could actually result in less waste.

I'm attempting to fill a market need while doing so as responsibly as possible. It really does help to have a resource such as Inventorspot.com and the feedback from the other inventors.

Postby Road Show » Fri Jul 20, 2007 8:45 am

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I just cannot see this product making money for you. There are just too many cheap shower curtains on the market, and folks that might spend a little more on a product like this might not give a hoot about how often they replace their shower curtain, especially since a new one looks better than a peel away where the edges and corners of the peel away are starting to curl in. Plus, many people are turning to water treatment such as deionization or distilling to eliminate scaling on EVERY surface water touches in their home including the pipes. Personally, I think this solution to water scaling is too narrow, and the product over engineered. Just my opinion. Good luck anyway.

RSG

Great Starting Point

Postby WadeSun » Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:09 am

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Yes, this is an important stage in product development/research for you. You should call your local waste collector and ask them what happens to discarded shower curtains so that you know the environmental impact. If your peelaway is thinner and made out of less plastics material, then that would be a great USP (so you can estimate the tons of plastic shower curtains that are discarded per year, and how much your peelaway could potentially save). Be creative, do research, contact key institutions and talk to people in the industry. Your niche will definitely include the environmentally-conscious, which is of growing concern with future generations of consumers.

For example, I called several waste collectors and they do collect discarded CDs and DVDs (mostly backups, outdated software, and AOL CDs) which they collect & send to CD Recycling facilities such as CDRecyclingcenter and Greendisk. Local recyclers don't have the specialized equipment to recycle discs, so they simply collect and send out the discs in bulk. Overall, I found out 100,000 tons/3 million CDs discarded per month. The main problem is that confidential discs are broken or shredded (for security purposes), and since trash is hand-sorted, the particles are too difficult to pick out and simply dumped in landfill instead. I researched further, contacted several CD recycling facilities and found that to effectively recycle a disc, it needs to be intact. The first process is called "washing", in which the foil(metallic) top layer is extracted from the polycarbonate - this requires intact discs. Some institutions accept and shred CDs, claiming that they "recycle," but the resulting material is mixed and cannot be re-used as pure metal or polycarbonate, but is used for other purposes. Thus, I can educate people on the process of CD recycling, and how my Disc Eraser promotes CD Recycling by leaving the disc intact.

Find strategic partnerships - CDRecyclingcenter has tested and approved the Disc Eraser, they tested over 1,000 CDs with it, are satisfied, and will help endorse it. Disc Eraser will help spread the word about CDRecyclingcenter.

It's alot of research and networking, as you can see...hope this helps! Good luck! wade@sunzag.com
<p>Wade Sun, SunZag LLC.</p><p><a href="http://www.disceraser.com/">www.DiscEraser.com</a>  Why shred? Recycle instead!</p>

Counter to Road Show

Postby peelaway » Fri Jul 20, 2007 12:13 pm

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I have heard people say the same remark as you about just buying new, but it is usually the men who are not having to do the changing who are saying it. It's not only the gunkiness of the shower curtain, it is the fact that they are a major PAIN to take down and then re-hang. For the average woman, it takes a bit of gymnastics, blood draining out of the arms and carpal tunnel to get it down off of the rings. You hang Peel Away once a year and you're done.

Even if I can get 10-15% of the market to switch, that will still be a profitable venture. And, those buyers will hopefully be repeat buyers. If I can get the product designed correctly, it won't have the peeling problems you mention.

Keep the criticism coming though... helps me think through the different scenarios. I definitely don't want to go into this blind and lose my shirt in the process.