As Seattle became the first city in the US to ban plastic straws this summer, the concern over single use plastics and non-biodegradable packaging is growing fast. Social media feeds are inundated with scenes of marine animals struggling through debris, and islands made up of trash are swirling in the oceans. It’s pretty hard to change habits once they are formed, and in a busy world convenience usually wins out over concerns for environmental sustainability. But these 7 products are leading the way to innovate eco packaging, and maybe reduce some trash in our landfills while they’re at it.
1. Seaweed based packaging
This slippery green stuff is an extremely versatile material and can be used for more than just the wrapping for your sushi. Evoware is a company that takes advantage of this substance, and by collaborating with seaweed farmers they have been able to develop a packaging material that is 100% biodegradable. The packaging dissolves in warm water, leaving behind no trace (and can even act as a natural fertilizer for plants!). Without any preservatives their material has a shelf life of two years, which is pretty good for a packaging solution that is completely organic.
2) Biodegradable rice fiber utensils
Next time you host a birthday party or family cookout, take stock of all of the paper and plastic materials that get thrown into the trash. When organizing big events like these it’s always easier to simply throw things away then spend hours washing plastic utensils. Luckily, this scenario finally has an eco-friendly solution. “Free The Seed” utensils are created by Australian based DB packaging and are made from organic materials. The materials dissolve naturally when they are disposed, regardless of soil conditions. The packaging is 100% organic and is made from post- harvest rice fiber, which makes use of a substance that would otherwise be discarded. The cost saving materials are inexpensive to make and are the perfect solution for those concerned with waste.
3) Paper soap bottles
When we think of a liquid item like hand soap or shampoo we usually imagine it to be in a plastic container. It's only logical- isn’t it? But new innovators have developed a way to make bottles out of recycled newspaper and cardboard, lined on the inside with a layer of very thin recycled plastic to hold the liquids. Lots of companies are catching on to this new design, including L’Oreal who created a water resistant paper bottle that uses an interlocking design rather than glue to hold it together.
4) Newspaper egg carton
Nasty Styrofoam egg cartons can never be broken down once they are introduced to the environment, so it’s better to avoid them when possible. Marian Obando did just that when she developed a method to hold free-range eggs with one strip of newspaper. The paper is folded into a way that secures the eggs and prevents them from cracking against each other, and a strip of cardboard in the middle holds everything in place.
5) Soap packaging you can plant
Organic soap is a real treat, but one that can sour when you throw away the packaging only to realize that it is made from plastic or other materials that don’t biodegrade. That’s why Pangea Organics developed a way to incorporate organic seeds like thyme or basil into the boxes of their 100% plant based soaps. All you have to do to plant your own herb garden is slip off the label, soak the box in water and plant it in the earth.
6) Bag-free takeout
The next time you order late night hot wings to the house during a midnight craving, imagine it arriving in these neat to-go boxes! Joann Arellos invented these boxes in an effort to create a sustainable and efficient way to transport delivery food. No need for plastic bags and Styrofoam containers, these boxes are made from cardboard are held together with a series of cords.
7) Edible coffee cups
Are you the type of coffee drinker who craves a bite of something sweet alongside your morning brew? This edible cup from KFC might be the perfect packaging for you. The cups are made from sugar cookies, with a coating on the inside of heat resistant chocolate. The paper on the outside is also made from sugar, and is printed with edible ink. The idea is that as the chocolate coating melts the customer can eat the cup, enjoying their coffee and their sweet treat all in one (and leaving zero waste behind).
We love to see the many ideas that are out there, and the changes that are being made to the packaging industry! At SSI packaging industry, we are always thinking about the future. Our experts can guide you towards making the right choices for your packaging needs, and help you increase your eco-friendliness by streamlining your process.
For any questions feel free to contact at (804) 649-1111 to speak with a representative or view our products to find out more.
Now more than ever, packaging matters. For any given product, consumers are faced with dozens of choices that are all extremely similar to one another (remember the last time you tried to pick out a tube of toothpaste?) As a result, it’s packaging that ends up doing most of the selling—and a clever, eye-catching design can be the difference between a success and a flop. Below are 7 incredible packaging designs that hit their design challenges out of the park.
CS Light Bulbs
When challenged to come up with a compelling, unique design for CS, the largest lightbulb maker in Belarus, designer Angelina Pischikova had a bright idea: use intricate, beautiful illustrations and paper cut-outs to incorporate the product into its packaging design.
With help from illustrator Anna Orlovskaya, the designer was able to create beautiful, whimsical, clever packaging that both protects the delicate product within, and elevates it above the competition.
Thelma’s Cookies makes fresh cookies to order, like a pizza, and deliver them still warm. In order to market such a unique product, co-owner Dereck Lewis and Brian Sauer of Saturday Manufacturing developed a box that resembles a classic, 1950s-style oven, complete with illustrated knobs and burners.
Aside from being really, really adorable, the packaging successfully furthers the company’s brand of cozy, homemade goodness. “The thought process really became, how do we convey that sense of joy of getting warm cookies from grandma,” said Lewis in an interview.
After adopting the new packaging, Thelma’s Cookies’ business doubled in a year. Lewis credits much of the success to the fact that customers crave the box as much as its contents. “We’ve had people and moms step in and pick up a couple boxes because their daughters use them to play house. People come in and say, ‘How much for a box?’ Stuff like that happens to us all the time,” he said.
Ford Ranger Extreme Matchbox
When Ford wanted to promote its Limited Edition Ranger Extreme, a truck with a cargo bed extender that could accommodate up to 30% more material, it turned to Malaysian Ad Agency JWT. The agency developed a custom matchbox that perfectly illustrated the product’s special feature.
It then distributed 5,000 matchboxes throughout local pubs frequented by blue-collar workers in auto repair, construction, and plumbing. The results? Over 1600 people visited Ford’s website to view the truck, and the Limited Edition Ranger Extreme was sold out a month ahead of schedule.
Nikita Konkin Pasta Hair
How many brands of pasta are out there? Quite a few. Designer Nikita Konkin had to come up with a way to make ordinary pasta—which is pretty much standard across the board—into something extraordinary. His resulting playful, clever design converts everyday Cavatappi into a fabulous hairdo, and immediately grabs the attention of anyone passing by.
Fit Buns by MEX Ad Agency
Fruity Toilet Paper Rolls
Few things are more boring than your everyday plain, white toilet paper rolls. For those who seek a beautiful bathroom, toilet paper is a constant irritant; it needs to be on hand, yet it doesn’t have any design appeal whatsoever.
Japanese designer Kazuaki Kawahara, however, challenged all that with his quirky packaging design that reimagines the paper as various fruits. The vibrantly printed rolls resemble either a kiwi, strawberry, watermelon, or orange, and contain no dyes or fragrance.
In Japan, it’s not unusual for a company to give its clients a roll of toilet paper as a sign of goodwill, and Kawahara has said that he designed the rolls with this use in mind. The trend hasn’t quite caught on in America, but with rolls this pretty that can be ordered online, it just might.
Festina Profundo Waterproof Watches
Almost all packaging says what the product can do, but very few packages actually show what the product can do. Not so with the Festina waterproof watch, which has to have some of the most gutsy, confident packaging we’ve ever seen. The waterproof divers’ watches are packaged in actual, distilled water, proving to consumers beyond a shadow of a doubt that the watches can, indeed, survive long periods of submersion. To make the message even more powerful, there are no words on the packaging except for the brand name, logo, and slogan—showing off the fact that Festina doesn’t need to say a word to sell its products.