The Modern Packaging Ideal aka My Girl Friday
The packaging industry is up against new challenges. Today’s package must not only sell the product within. It should also be made from recyclable material, protect against spoiling and damage and provide the most information possible while producing the least amount of waste. As a result, packaging manufacturers today are often on the fence about which agenda is priority number one.
Food vs. Material Waste
Is wrapping cucumber in plastic a great way to lower food waste or nonsense? It could be said that a cucumber already comes pre-packaged by mother nature and wrapping it in plastic just wastes material and creates pointless trash. But it’s not that simple. A cucumber wrapped in plastic stays fresh up to four times longer than an unwrapped one. It therefore inspires us to consider whether it’s more important to lower food waste or the amount of trash that we as a society create. That’s just one of the questions that packaging manufacturers are asking today.
What Takes Precedence?
The packaging industry finds itself in uncharted territory, as it tries to satisfy numerous competing agendas at the same time. What does the ideal package look like? Is it one that’s reusable but comes with the price of higher density and production costs? Or is the “right” package lightweight with minimal impact on the sweet water supply. Should packaging provide as much information as possible about the product inside and help get it off the shelf? Or rather be easily recyclable with a low carbon footprint?
Packaging: A History
These are just a few of the topics that Jeffrey Osterroth discussed with Michael Londesborough when he appeared on the program “Let’s talk about it”. Jeffrey is the general manager of the ATOZ Group, which focuses on B2B communication for the retail and packaging industries. Together with Michael they honed in on the transformation of human behavior toward packaging throughout history, the role that packaging plays in maintaining both hygiene and food freshness and the evolution of packaging as a marketing tool.
Watch their interview here and find out how the growing trend of online shopping affects the amount of waste we create or why Jeffrey buys cucumbers only if they’re wrapped in plastic, among other interesting facts and curiosities from the world of packaging.