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packaging

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Resource Fix: Integrating packaging with products

There are a lot of ideas for reducing the waste associated with packaging, from reducing the amount of materials needed for packaging, to making it easier to recycle packaging or using recycled materials as inputs. Designer Aaron Mickelson’s concept is different: make packaging “disappear” altogether.

Mickelson’s The Disappearing Packaging project includes printing packaging information right on the surface of products using ink that washes off, tear-off tea bags and Tide Pods (eliminating the need for outer packaging), and a garbage bag that does double-duty as packaging.

Incorporating packaging right into products would reduce the amount of resources used for delivering products, as well as resources used to dispose of or recycle packaging. Have you seen any other ingenious “disappearing” acts?

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Resource Fix: Focus on benefits to customers

We often think of innovations as new technologies and concrete improvements to products. But when a Brazilian fast food chain introduced edible packaging for their burgers (an innovation in and of itself) what was interesting was the way they marketed it. An obvious angle would be waste reduction and the conservation of resources thanks to new packaging. However, Bob’s focused on benefits to the customer, advertising that the packaging was a way to minimize the time between getting your burger and sinking your teeth into it. Resource performance is all about the relationship between resource use and the life-enhancing benefits delivered to customers, so it makes sense to frame things for customers in terms of benefits. When companies innovate their products to decrease resource use and deliver more benefits, how do you think they should communicate that to their customers?

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