As the United States and other countries try to become more “green”, a new emerging trend emerging is one started by Amazon.com-making packaging which is both easier to open, and made of recyclable material-instead of plastic blister packs which take a home surgical kit to open. Online seller Amazon.com has responded to the needs of customers by using such packaging for a number of their items. While brick-and-mortar stores have yet to change how they package products, 10 possible suggested new ways to package everything from batteries to candy bars are listed below.
1. The “sock” packaging. Customers will buy items such as granola bars and M&Ms which are stored in an old, but washed and sanitarily clean sock. When the customer returns to the supermarket they can return the socks for an immediate 3% reduction off their grocery bill. The socks are washed and reused.
2. Kelp packaging. This new age packaging material is made from freshly processed seaweed and kelp, which is then shaped into a variety of transparent boxes with a greenish tinge. As a one time use only package it is expected that groceries across the country will use the material to package perishables such as raw chicken and ground beef. Customer surveys have found that the packages are popular even though they impart a “salty seawater taste” to stuff that they store.
3. No packaging at all. A number of Jellybean Barrel Stores across the country have for years let customers fill up everything from old coffee cans to cardboard boxes with products bought in the store. Everything is weighed, from razors to lined paper, and customers pay for it by the pound. They then pour the purchased product into anything that can carry it out of the store, from pockets to hats. The owner of the Jellybean Barrel store, Nicolas Pumpernickel, has said that this method of “no packaging” has worked wonders for his store and saves him, and his customers, money.
4. Old packaging with a twist. Some major retailers, such as Toys “R” Us, still use the same old plastic blister wraps, however during the holiday season they provide a service which helps you get the toy out of the wrapping before leaving the store. It is estimated that each year during Christmas a dozen parents lose their fingers trying to remove extremely tough plastic packaging which should only be tackled by trained package removal personnel equipped with a circular saw.
5. Many Wal-Marts across the country have experimented with using old newspapers as packaging for everything from new DVDs to soap. While customers like the idea of “going green”, many have complained that the packaging makes it difficult for consumers to figure out exactly what they are buying. So some grocers has developed a code, stuff wrapped in the Funnies is breakfast cereal and meat is wrapped in the Sports Section.
6. NASA is experimenting with a new type of packaging which will be used to package food being trucked to the the international space Station. The packaging is described by astronauts as being “mylar like” and stronger than a bulletproof vest. However, major retailers are skeptical as the packaging has to be removed with a high-powered laser and was supposedly reverse engineered from material found at the 1947 UFO crash in Roswell New Mexico.
7. In an effort to promote safer sexual practices, drugstores across the country will be packaging everything from aspirin to vitamins in oversized “condom bags” the day before Halloween.
8. In what may be the first commercial application for the fluffy hairballs coughed up by cats, a New Jersey entrepreneur has figured out a way to convert your cat’s old hairballs into a new type of packaging. The hairballs will be used to make the next generation of cardboard boxes which will be resistant to dents and tears during shipping, but which will be extremely biodegradable.
9. Pumpkin boxes. Pumpkin skins, which have been “de-pulped”, are leatherized via a special chemical process that involves lime and boric acid and turned into boxes which can easily be shattered with a hammer if necessary.
10. Flower Boxes. An ingenious couple living in Vermont has figured out how to recycle dried flowers into useable packages by re-engineering the cotton press. The fragrant, yet flammable, boxes will be used by a number of national jewelers this fall in order to provide boxes which are the perfect compliment to instant family heirlooms.
For the top ten signs that the White House isn’t as “Green” as it should be click here.