Four Packaging Ideas That Focus On Reducing Waste

Four Packaging Ideas That Focus On Reducing Waste

From new coffee cups to plantable raincoats, four examples of fresh thinking on packaging and product design that cuts down on waste.

Nestor Bailly, PSFK
  • 19 december 2011

As part of our recent coverage on innovative wrapping, we’ve seen Cheeseburger concept sets and produce packaging giving cauliflower a personality. As unique as they are, wrapping and packaging in general are inherently wasteful; admired, unwrapped, and then in most cases discarded.

Here are some inspiring examples of packaging and paper-based items that are focused on reducing waste in a well-designed way, without sacrificing utility or aesthetics.

Compleat cups reinvent the disposable coffee cup by eliminating the need for plastic lids. An all-paper design that folds over on the top to create a top, Compleat reduces waste and provides an additional space on top for branding and messaging that traditional to-go cups lack. Designer Peter Herman made Compleat to be easily adoptable by businesses and consumers, even the hard-core eco crowd.

Grow Books is a line of handmade children’s books that are compostable and made from recycled materials. Their books center around telling stories that teach children the importance of social justice and urban environmentalism. All their products are produced in maximum quantities of 1000, and in collaboration with Chicago-local labor.

The Boxsal series of picnic baskets are marketed towards offering a new take on the picnic. With slogans like ‘meet the modern picnic’ and ‘bringing the picnic back into fashion,’ Boxsal’s post-consumer pulp cardboard boxes are targeted to appeal to a hip and urban crowd from office workers who want to have a more fun lunch break with their colleagues to eco-conscious daters. Their picnic sets include compostable plates and utensils, and the box itself is 100% recyclable.

The Plantable Raincoat

The Spud Coat takes a traditionally limited-use item, the plastic rain poncho, and turns its disposability into an asset. Like any raincoat it is waterproof, but this one is totally compostable and biodegradable. No big deal? Well, Spud Coat has imbedded seeds so instead of being discarded the wearer can plant it, with the coat itself acting as a fertilizer for the seeds.


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