Pratt Institute student Aaron Mickelson examines packaging design for ways to eliminate waste as part of his Masters Thesis Project ‘The Disappearing Package‘. He takes a product and then based on its use case, creates packaging that becomes the product itself, like soap packaging that dissolves in the shower, a container of Tide pods made from the pods themselves, and trash bags that create their own dispenser without cardboard packaging.
Mickelson was concerned about the amount of packaging we throw away (over 70 million tons every year), which makes up the single largest percentage of trash in our landfills. Figures released by the EPA indicate this problem is only getting worse, and although many talented designers have worked to reduce the amount of packaging that goes onto a product, he believes more can be done.
For my Masters Thesis, I asked the question: Can we eliminate that waste entirely? The five solutions presented by this website are my answer to that question. I realize each presents its own manufacturing or distribution challenge; however, each also presents opportunities available to package designers right now.
Mickelson took five products; Tide PODs, OXO POP Containers, Twinings Tea Bags, Nivea Bar Soap, and GLAD Trash Bags, and reimagined their packaging. By applying the functions of packaging to the product itself, he created packages and containers that completely disappear by the time you’re done using the product.