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Swim Goggles Packaging a Source-Reducing Champion

Michael Phelps-branded packaging sets a gold standard in the high-end swimming category by using less than half the plastic of hard plastic cases — and the PET is 100% recyclable.

PlasticsToday Staff

October 27, 2020

2 Min Read
Phelps Swim Glasses Ninja Box Open
Deal Design

Improved packaging sustainability is found in many variations including recycling and source reduction and some projects combine both.

Packaging in the high-end competitive swimming goggles market has remained largely unchanged for years. The norm is for hard plastic cases, or blister pack backed with rigid cardstock.

Aqua Lung America, working with the Michael Phelps brand, was dedicated to reducing the use of plastics in packaging, which presented a design challenge for its new high-end competition Ninja goggles.

The brand consulted with Deal Design to develop a new approach to the packaging design that reduced the reliance on plastic while it provided enough space on the package to communicate the Ninja’s advanced technology and engineering achievements.

The new Ninja Goggles aims to make a splash in the market through a packaging solution delivers a user experience more akin to a consumer electronics product and stands out amidst the competition.

Phelps Swim Goggles Packaging

“We wanted to give the consumer an interactive experience that carried through from the retail shelf to the unboxing of the product at home,” explains David Deal, principal of Deal Design. “To achieve this, we created a rigid box with a hinged cover that opens to reveal the technology story of the Ninja as you explore the package. When you unbox it, you discover that the goggles and unique strap design are wrapped around an engineered inner package of thin 100% recyclable PET that ensures the goggles keep their curved shape–essential to their performance in competition.

"Inside the inner package are the carrying bag and sizing parts — there is very little waste. The total amount of plastic used is less than half of previous hard plastic cases and it’s 100% recyclable.”

Phelps Swim Glasses Ninja Box Open

Deal also explains that the engineering of the inner packaging was a challenge: the circumference of the goggle frame and straps were different and needed to fit each perfectly using one mold, including pegs to lock the patented strap into place without additional wasted packaging.

As with its inspired namesake, Phelps Brand Ninja goggles’ packaging stands out when viewed alongside the competition including well-known brands like Speedo and TYR.

Aqua Lung America products are available around the world where quality sporting goods are sold.

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