Sometimes it helps to think about why products are wrapped in the first place. In a dynamic packaging market, this is a useful first step toward sustainability and cost reduction.
Whether we are talking bananas, which come with their own built in wrapping, or a delicate piece of glass, products are wrapped for a very basic reason: to protect them from the place of origin to the consumer.
Now packaging can move very far up the hierarchy of needs to product promotion, theft prevention, and glamor enhancement, but the most basic reason remains protecting the contents during transit to the consumer. Secondary, but just as important for food, personal care and pharma, is product safety. It is not enough to get it there, but the consumer needs to know the product is safe to consume.
Fourteen years ago when my husband and I packed and moved our possessions to our new home, we used well over 100 cardboard boxes for a family of 5 with lots of books, clothes and toys. We tried to recycle as much of that cardboard as possible, because we were frugal and the cardboard was expensive, even though we used a lot of cast offs from friends who had moved. When our daughter moved last year, the packing boxes were plastic and reusable. They were rented for a fraction of the cost of our purchased cardboard. Times had, indeed, changed. No need to recycle the cardboard or to purchase it in the first place.
Rethinking the basic reasons for the packaging sometimes leads to new ways of protection. Today we find far more reusable pallets and crates, rather than wooden and cardboard ones.
And we find our customers rethinking their packaging. Sometimes we find it distressing because they dispense with the overwrap. Sometimes we are happy to find they dispense with other packaging in favor of overwrap. Making the packaging more sustainable enhances the manufacturer and the consumer. Take a look at issues of sustainability in packaging.
Are you rethinking your primary or secondary packaging? Or are you a consumer thinking, “what were those people doing when they created this packaging?”
Let us know what you think about your packaging at firstname.lastname@example.org