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.