We Buzzed about a World without Packaging back in 2011, and the message still rings true. The world would be a mess without packaging. Literally. Imagine grocery shopping for meat, milk and bread with no packaging. And in that scenario, it’s not just packaging, but plastics that save the day.
Plastics were invented in the late 19th century, but it wasn’t until after WWII when they became a staple in packaging. The futuristic material was light, strong and found favor in the single-use and throwaway culture that arose in our post-war celebration of excess.
Plastics even steals the scene in one of the highest-rated and highest-grossing films of all time, The Graduate.
Today, however, plastics have a bad rap as mismanaged disposal has created very real environmental concerns. There are entire organizations dedicated to ending the use of plastics and the material is used as a shorthand for all things wrong with contemporary consumerism.
Don’t hate on plastics too much, even if they are are kind of the punching bag of the packaging world. Plastics are no thing of the past. In fact, don’t think of plastics as an entirely unsustainable material either!
Just take a look at this video and the accompanying graphic from Plastics Make it Possible:
That’s just the time-lapse of tiny houses being made. What is cool, though, is all of the different ways plastic makes an impact on this environmentally-friendly abode.
Everything, from the strong and low-maintenance siding to the caulking to the solar shingles that both power and protect the home, is comprised of plastic. That is because plastic offers a variety of options that can create stronger yet flexible construction. Take that, plastic haters!
Want more? Take our cardboard surfboard as an example. There is a polyethylene layer to the corrugated honeycomb structure that keeps water out. Without it, the surfboard would get soggy and wet and fall apart.
Instead we get this!
To craft a perfectly designed and sustainable unit, a custom packaging solution should consider all available materials first. While plastics get targeted due to their frequent use and infrequent post-consumer recycling, there are many ways we can rethink plastic in packaging (shipping weight, preservation, and more).
So, when you’re looking for an updated package design, go with the team who knows it all. That’s us! Our Innovation Lab is hard at work every day to create new and exciting uses for materials that enhance the customer experience. Give us a call and see what is available to you!