Thursday, January 6, 2011

Good Packaging Evolves

I recently purchased new bed sheets and pillowcases to ensure that our holiday guests would be comfortable during their stay in our home.
It was a nice surprise to find this thoughtful new packaging from
Springmaid (affiliate link) and Home, a house brand of Target store; both clearly making the effort to reduce the use of plastics and packaging in general. Both have eliminated the usual plastic or cellophane on the outside of the package, which is fine with me, as I normally wash new sheets before using. Each has a small amount of corrugated paper inside the sheets or pillowcases to maintain the shape of the package. Both have used a minimum number of ink colors for imprinting - also a consideration. All of the packaging materials can go into our town's recycle stream.

There is still plenty of work to be done in order to achieve the ultimate in retail packaging (reduce first, then reuse and recycle), but improvements are constantly in the works in the retail realm. The big picture requires packaging materials and methods that will keep the product fresh on the shelf for as long as possible, with fewer and better (recycled, reusable, recyclable) materials. Our responsibility as consumers is to pay attention, try the products, evaluate what works, and continue to be a thoughtful part of the discussion.


Heidi said...

I always look for these types of reduced packaging products, too. Lots of packing is just going to go into the trash or recycle bin as soon as you get it home.

One of the challenges of making these strategies work is the handling of these products prior to purchase. It does require more care in shipping and in the store displays. Part of the issue is training of personnel, part of it is design of shipping containers, part of it is retail design. This highlights the need for collaboration with the supply chain to achieve green objectives.

Elaine Spitz said...

Great insight, Heidi. It starts with design and the collaboration and conversation must continue with new best practices in mind.