At a recent family reunion, my parents brought their 8mm projector and showed my siblings and their grandchildren some VERY OLD family videos. Wow technology has come A LONG way...but in one of these videos that took place in 1972, my brother is opening a Christmas gift.He ripped the wrapping paper off, and there was this plastic ball toy, with some cardboard packaging on the back of it. My mom lifted one tab, and out fell the ball, and my brother was immediately able to play with the toy. Wow packaging has also come a long way! When my children get toys these days, it takes several minutes, and often tools, to get the toy out of the packaging. Thereís often layers of plastic within cardboard, with tape, tabs, twist ties, stitches and even screws, and all usually within a thick clam shell that takes scissors, a box cutter or razor blade to get through.
Of course there are a few reasons for this intense packaging. 1. Security
: unfortunately theft is an issue for retailers, and having complex packaging helps prevent items from being easily stolen. 2. Marketing:
giving the consumer the opportunity to see the whole toy and try it before they buy it is usually desired by the buyer. And 3. Shipping:
Often these toys are manufactured overseas and need to be shipped by boat, then truck, and handlers and need to be kept safe from being damaged en route.
So whatís the answer?
Iíve recently come across two videos online that could help: The first video was from LimeLoop about reusable packaging. Video 1 Saving trees and preventing trash: This is a circular way of thinking!
The second video was from Amazon on sustainable packaging for e-commerce products: Video 2 When items are shipped by on-line shopping, two of those three factors mentioned previously are not relevant. So e-commerce items can be packaged differently.
Just imagine the amount of trash that would be prevented with both of these concepts being utilized! I hope to start seeing these changes and others implemented in the near future.
RL Magazine Editor