Archive for October, 2013
We may make our living from packaging. Packaging may enable our clients to make their living. The trouble is that within seconds of being opened or the product being consumed, packaging has no further useful purpose. It becomes surplus or waste.
And what a waste. According to HMG, in 2011 the UK produced nearly 11 million tonnes of packaging waste –just under a tenth of the UK’s total waste. Although around sixty percent of this waste is recycled, that still leaves 4.5 million tonnes of packaging rubbish to be sorted, put out, collected and then transported to landfill, every year.
Just by way of comparison, that is almost exactly the same mount of earth that was removed from the 42 kilometres of tunnel dug for Cross Rail. But packaging is far les dense than earth so it would fill a much longer tunnel
Wouldn’t it be so much better for everyone if somehow a large proportion of it just, well, disappeared?
Earlier this year we blogged about the work of Aaron Mickelson from the Pratt Institute New York who has found ways to make packaging do just that. He has created packaging that is part of the product and is used up as the product is used up.
Now we can report on two more developments in socially responsible, environmentally friendly packaging that just vanishes. (more…)
Global warming, being green and carbon footprints have been a hot topic since the turn of the century, and the reduce, reuse, recycle mantra of environmental waste awareness has been firmly engrained into our consumer lives.
Design student Aaron Mickelson examined whether it was possible to eliminate packaging waste entirely, instead of merely reducing it. Thinking outside the box, his project, ‘The Disappearing Package’, investigates how to create packaging that becomes the product itself. Amongst Mickelson’s collection is a soap packet that dissolves upon first use, creating no need for unwrapping or disposal (an innovative use of soap soluble ink, and water soluble paper). The student’s solution for Britain’s favourite beverage is similarly resourceful: an elegant concertina of tea bags that are torn off one by one.
Mickelson is adamant that a disappearing package doesn’t need to mean a sacrifice for the brand. He says, “Disappeared packages retain all identity and marketing opportunities of traditional packaging solutions.”
Some might argue that the internet is the answer to the future’s sustainable packaging, with virtual shopping meaning that the consumer buys the product based on a photo of it, as opposed to the tactile draw of traditional packaging. However, if Mickelson’s designs are a glimpse of the future of packaging, consumers (and the environment) have something to look forward to.