4 Initiatives Making Packaging a Thing of the Past [LIST]

Say goodbye to excess wrapping and hello to a cleaner environment

Woman shopping in supermarket.

(wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com)

Wrappers, boxes, cans and bottles are the vessels that contain the products we purchase, making items easier to distinguish by brand, transport and store. But all that excess packaging has a severe impact on the environment. In fact, most packaging doesn’t get properly recycled, meaning that nearly one-third of an average dump consists of discarded wrapping. As of late there have been some folks who have been looking to change that statistic by reimagining the way products are encased, leading to some creative and imaginative solutions for a cleaner planet.


WHAT: An environmental organization which aims to ensure that products are designed with sustainable materials that can be reused or recycled.
THE NITTY GRITTY: Through original research, educational materials and campaigns, UPSTREAM targets large corporations and everyday consumers to minimize the production and accumulation of packaging waste. The proactive organization also works with government officials through initiatives like Product Stewardship Councils that make consumer goods companies accountable for reducing or eliminating the environmental impacts of their products.


WHAT: Meaning Original Unpackaged in German, the new zero-free packaging grocery store most recently debuted in Berlin, Germany.
THE NITTY GRITTY: The alternative grocery store sells dry goods in bulk, fruits and vegetables, along with liquid products in recycled bottles. To carry groceries, customers can buy a reusable container at the store, or bring their own from home. Already a hit, Original Unverpakt is planning on opening a second Berlin location.


WHAT: A Masters Thesis Project created by package designer Aaron Mickelson, which presents five packaging alternatives to everyday household products.
THE NITTY GRITTY: OXO containers, Tide laundry detergent, Glad garbage bags, Twining’s tea bags and Nivea soap are redesigned so that their wrapping “disappears." For example, a  Nivea soap's package is made of water-soluble paper - so it completely dissolves when it gets wet, and Tide PODs are stitched together into a perforated sheet that bears all product insignia in water soluble ink.


WHAT: This pencil doesn’t need to be discarded - because it turns into a plant.
THE NITTY GRITTY: Each pencil contains seeds inside and when planted grows into delicious herbs! Each tip of the non toxic Sprout pencil contains organic seeds that only require soil, water and sunshine to thrive. There are 11 different herb varieties including basil, cherry tomato, mint and sage.