- Andrea Cahill
- Hamilton Parish
This conversation is closed.
The standardization of shipping container sizes, gives the container continued value. Lets design all packaging that way…
I'm a stay at home mom living in Bermuda, but originally from Northern California. Design, has always been my passion and fascination. The focusing of environmental efforts on recycling has always felt like shortsighted design to me.
Bermuda is said to be the wealthiest per capita country in the world. I was shocked to find out they do not recycle plastics. It is too expensive to ship to a recycling plant in the US. Yet, plastic and packaging surround everything that I need every day to survive; food, medicine, scissors, car parts, toddler toys.
So, I have to ask; Why make packaging that can only be used once?
A few years back, I had an interesting conversation with my husband's old friend. He was writing a doctorate paper on the standardization of shipping containers, trains, trucks, and ports; it changed the world. I was struck by the simplicity and elegance that agreeing to use the same sized box, suddenly gave that box value worldwide. The shipping container is not temporary. But it could have been if it was designed to be temporary.
I think we can apply this idea to all packaging. Instead of making things meant to be garbage, what if we made packaging that lasted, was interchangeable, customizable, modular, reusable with sterilizing, resealing, relabling, and beautiful on display? What if a cereal box could be used over and over again throughout the country and world? Cereal to Japan, Rice back. Eggs to Florida, Oranges back. Nothing to throw out; because we didn’t design it to. Garbage day can be packaging pick up day, perhaps returned for credit, and then back into main circulation to continue it's use. My hard sided lightweight TUMI bag has been through years of rough airplane travel, and doesn't have a dent. Can't say the same for packages arriving in cardboard, in cardboard, in styrofoam.
Multiple sizes, multiple uses, unknown possibilities; as long as size is standardized, it can have value tomorrow as well as today.