By Lorrin Windahl.
When we think of product packaging we often think of polystyrene foam, cardboard and plastic bags. All of which when you have unwrapped the product go into the garbage or, at best, the recycling bin. But this is an area of design that is changing with designers looking towards more sustainable materials and using less of them.
Polystyrene foam could be the reason for this shift. A highly contentious topic – EPS foam or styrofoam, as it is commonly known, has become the PVC of the packaging industry. Already banned in several countries around the world, polystyrene foam reportedly produces toxic chemicals during production, can leach into the food that is packaged inside, can be found floating in many of our waterways (often choking animals who think it is food) and takes hundreds of years to biodegrade. Any of these factors alone is surely reason enough to look to alternative materials.
Here are some clever designs that use more sustainable materials and minimise the amount of material used. They get the thumbs up from me.