One of the best, most functional designs we’ve seen for packaging recently, was that reported on fastcompany.com – it describes an egg box which is biodegradable, and can be planted in your garden where it will sprout legumes which you can eat.
It’s so simple to reuse the packaging, it can take its time to degrade into the soil and you get food to eat from the deal as well. The chickens would be proud.
The packaging was designed by George Bosnas, a Greece-based designer who developed the concept for the Biopack.
He said he saw an opportunity to bypass the recycling system completely.
Money, time, electricity
Bosnas pointed out that recycling costs money, time, and electricity.
“There are problems in recycling systems: Occasionally, items that are picked up from recycling bins aren’t actually recycled, as in cities that struggled to adapt when China stopped importing low-quality recyclables,” the fastcompany.com blog noted.
The biodegradable egg box was conceived for a circular economy design competition. Bosnas wanted to focus on a common item that often ends up in the trash. (In Greece, egg cartons are usually made from plastic; in the US and SA, where cartons are often made from paper, you can add boxes to your compost heap if you have one, where it will be broken down over time.)
After use, the package Bosnas designed is meant to be planted in the ground and watered, and then the seeds will sprout.
“I chose legumes because they are used as nitrogen fertilisers in nature,” he said.
Some more innovative packaging designs and use of materials which caught the eye were listed on blog.naturehub.com
In a post by Will Titterington, he wrote, “Eco packaging needs to be at the forefront of our minds as we move through 2020. While many of us are doing our bit when it comes to other environmental concerns, such as food and food waste, it’s time to put sustainable packaging front and centre on the green menu.”
BAMBOO: Bamboo is strong and can work really well for packaging.
It has been used for a number of products over the years, including baby wipes. It’s also been discarded when it isn’t needed any more and turned into waste. Bamboo that is no longer required can be transformed into pulp before being turned into packaging.
a company in Thailand, is just one example of a business that’s making bamboo packaging in an effort to cut down on the country’s trash problems. Its zero-waste packaging will hopefully one day replace many of the plastic bags that are dumped in trashcans every day.”
Bamboohearts.com says on its website: “Bamboo grasses are the fastest growing woody plants in the world. They can grow up to almost 61cm a day. The bamboo can be harvested much faster than hardwood. Therefore, bamboo is highly renewable and an ideal alternative to foams, corrugated board, and moulded paper fiber materials.”
*It’s also durable and sturdy;
*It can withstand heavy loads and can be stretched and pulled enormously;
*It’s environmentally friendly;
*Bamboo plants promote soil health, as the deep root systems protect the soil from erosion
** POPCORN: Who would have thought that the stuff we love to munch while watching movies would make great packaging material?
That’s right: popcorn is considered by some to be a sustainable packaging material of the future.
“Popcorn is a bit like foam nuggets, and this allows it to protect particularly fragile items. It’s also extremely light and thus doesn’t require much energy during transit,” wrote Titterington.
Because it’s biodegradable, you can place it in your compost bin when you’re finished unpacking.
Rotting palm leaves
**PALM LEAVES: In 2018, a pair of women students in Berlin decided to do something useful with rotting palm leaves that are normally thrown away once the fruit has been harvested and processed.
“They softened them in water, heat-pressed them, and made bowls and lids. These palm leaf packages are both biodegradable and recyclable. Once you’re done with them, you can toss them onto your compost pile,” wrote Titterington.
EcoCups and EcoBowls: See what an SA company based in Cape Town is doing.