menu

Triple Pundit: REI Takes The Lead In Rethinking Packing Materials

Triple Pundit: REI Takes The Lead In Rethinking Packing Materials
Advertising

The outdoor equipment retailer innovates and saves with sustainable packaging.

Triple Pundit
  • 24 october 2011

When it comes to design, leading companies are moving beyond products and taking a hard look at packagingPUMA has touted its fully compostable bags, Dell has experimented with mushroom-based packaging, and beverage companies like Coca-Cola are incorporating plant-based materials into their bottles.  Then there are the companies that are taking a holistic look at how they can not only increase recycled content in their packaging, but decrease the total amount they use for presenting and shipping their products.  Sustainable packaging, quite simply, is hot and a money saver to boot.

REI has been a trailblazer on the packaging redesign front.  The company has long stopped using clamshell packaging that is not only annoying to open, but uses way too much PVC compared to the size of the products that it is encasing.  Steps like eliminating clamshell packaging are behind the firm’s goal to reduce its REI-branded packaging by 25% in 2013.

Eric Abraham, REI’s packaging engineering manager, drives much of REI’s packaging innovation.  Some of his successes are in the numbers:  instead of a token 10 percent of post-consumer content in paper packaging, Abraham is pushing for materials that are 100 percent recyclable and sourced from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified materials.  Those same recycled paper materials now end up in the product hangtags (pictured above), which are then attached to garments and other products with fasteners made from recycled polypropylene (from old hangars) instead of ones made from virgin plastic.  One reason why packaging is often wasteful is the little things:  twist ties, zip ties, polybags, and tape, are find their way out of REI’s packaging.

Some of Abraham’s ideas come from his experience as a consumer.  After finishing a bicycling race, he eliminated the bulky cardboard packaging used for bicycle tubes and instead had them shrink wrapped in a film made from plant source.  For bicyclists on a long haul, it’s more comfortable to have that tube stashed in a seat pocket instead of hogging space in a cardboard box–or poking you if it’s in your back pocket. Design often drives packaging innovation, not just a knee-jerk reaction to “go green.”

If you have ever ordered a bicycle online, chances are your recycling bin gets filled up quickly (or you have plenty of cardboard to line your driveway if you still do your own oil changes).  Abraham worked with his department to ship a certain bicycle in boxes of four instead of individually.  Bicycling just got a little more carbon neutral.

All these ideas are just not for REI’s benefit.  The company is involved with the Outdoor Industry Association Eco Working Group to push changes within its industry, had has hosted events in Seattle to show other local companies how they can be smarter when using resources like paper.

Visit REI’s blog to learn more about Abraham and REI’s work on packaging.  Judging by the comments, not only is REI saving money, but its customers are engaged and offering even more suggestions (and even a date!).  A company founded because of love of the outdoors is doing its part to keep those same outdoors just a little more pristine.

See the original post here

Written by Leon Kaye. Originally posted on Triple Pundit. Republished with kind permission. 

Advertising
Trending

Lyft Gives Free Rides To Those Who Have Had Too Much To Drink

Advertising
Augmented & Virtual Reality Today

Outdoor Camp Presented In 360° VR By X Games Gold Medalist

The video features campers riding BMX trails, zip lining through the woods, and performing big-air jumps

Travel Today

Boeing Wants Passengers To Control Their In-Flight Experience Through Their Phones

The airline manufacturer is embracing automation through a new generation of mobile travel apps

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Augmented / Virtual Reality Today

VR Surgery Videos Offer Interactive Medical Education

Dutch startup MDLinking hopes to globalize communication between students and medical care professionals with virtual reality content

Culture Today

Use Twitter To Learn A New Language

tDict is an app that uses the social media platform to help you search for words in local dialects

Mobile Today

This Startup Wants To Digitize The Loose Coins In Your Pocket

CoinOut is a new app that lets you save your extra change from cash transactions as electronic funds

Advertising Today

McDonald’s Is Accepting Trash As Currency In Exchange For Burgers

An initiative in Stockholm is trying to keep streets clean while satisfying hunger

Culture Today

Google Is Using Virtual Paper Airplanes To Bring People Closer Together

The tech giant released an app that lets people throw their good wishes out into the world on the International Day of Peace

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed september 23, 2016

Productivity Expert: The Magic Of The Five-Hour Workday

Stephan Aarstol, Founder of Tower Paddle Boards, explains why the modern notion of office hours needs to evolve

PSFK Labs september 22, 2016

The Future Of Work: Why Innovation Is Every Employee’s Job

PSFK Labs sits down with management at Johnson & Johnson to learn how the company comes up with their next ‘big idea’

Advertising Today

Get Paid For Traveling In San Francisco After Rush Hour

BART Perks rewards commuters who take early or late trains by giving them extra points to trade for money

Culture Today

Artist Designs Covers For Books That Don’t Exist

Published by the fictional 'Specious Books,' the subversive works facilitate a conversation regarding the artistic integrity of graphic designers

Work Today

Editorial Roundtable: The Arrival Of The People-First Workplace

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX enumerate the reasons why companies need an employee-embracing workforce in order to exist

Food Today

Bringing Food Innovation To America’s Crowded Milk Market

a2 Milk's Blake Waltrip, Chief Executive of the USA region, discusses how the distributor plans on bringing the popular drink for the dairy-sensitive to the States

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Design & Architecture Today

Why Building Better Offices Is The Key To Employee Engagement

Interaction Designer and Audio-visual Technologist at ESI Design illustrates the value in creating environments filled with surprise and delight

Augmented / Virtual Reality Today

NBC Is Planning To Stream The Presidential Debates In Virtual Reality

Partnering with AltspaceVR, the broadcaster offers another way for Americans to engage with the election season

No search results found.