Andrea Cahill

Hamilton Parish, Bermuda

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Andrea Cahill
Posted 3 months ago
The standardization of shipping container sizes, gives the container continued value. Lets design all packaging that way…
Great thoughts! I like your idea of recycling or package turnover being more accessible and movable. . For items not requiring the big plants, perhaps your mobile version could be retrofitted right onto the shipping container? It's going there already. For reusable, perhaps the ability to wash, and sterilize onsite... mobile autoclave? Removes excess step of going on to truck to recycle then to boat, then to become product. Time and money saved! I don't know if this helps or hurts your idea, but we've found out the hard way that stable materials on land, may not bet at sea. I always wondered why pirates are always swabbing the decks. Any sailor knows that boats are always in the process of sinking. This tiny island often feels like a ship simulation because exposure is similar. Sea water and air have impressive ability to destroy or alter most anything, and does so rapidly. Adhesive, zippers, industrially glue, paint, metal, wood, ceramics, fabrics, leather, certain plastics and even concrete; all get broken down, corrode, rust, or disintegrate. Even items inside the house are susceptible from the air. My husband's new scooter had parts just falling off after 3 years of close proximity to the water. The one exception has been our heavy recycled plastic chairs that sit only 3 feet from the water with no protection. After 6 years of sea spray, weekly gale force winds, hot sun, hurricanes, several trips into the water, and one winter storm that trapped chair floating in a nearby cave bouncing around like it was in a washing machine. When we pulled them out a few days later; they looked good as new save one small scratch. Conversely, a plastic outdoor rug disintegrated in my hands after 2 weeks away from water, but just exposed to the air.. Do you know the what would make such a big difference how the two plastics behaved? Density? Type of plastic?
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Andrea Cahill
Posted 3 months ago
The standardization of shipping container sizes, gives the container continued value. Lets design all packaging that way…
Some plastics hold up, and some (like the ones we use for packaging right now) break down just enough to make it hard to clean up once out in the world. My argument is for other packaging to be used LIKE the current shipping containers. Even, when there is an abundance of imports, but lacking exports; the surplus of shipping containers still are versatile and durable enough that we've then used them in countless other ways other than shipping; even houses. The two reasons that make the shipping containers model work for efficiently, effectively, economically, and sustainable are these: 1. Made from durable long lasting material. A container is made to be a container and that's it. As it turns out a box can be versatile enough, that we don't need to constantly "recycle" or make new shipping containers. AND 2. They were all designed with the foresight to make ***world wide standard size. This means that all trucks, machinery, loading trucks, trains, fork lifts, cranes, etc. could immediately take off the import, and put on the export. When the import container is empty, it immediately becomes an export container. Simple. I am wondering what it would take to make that same system possible for all of the other packaging we use?; by creating several standard sizes that will work to contain all imports and exports? We have sustainable shipping containers filled with disposable ones. Same journey, just the creators of outer container, looked at impact and purpose, then designed. If imports came in one packing container, and now the packaging machines at same location were programmed for that size because of standardization, then empty import, immediately becomes empty export. No extra costly step necessary. I agree that we don't normally change until economically driven. Cost of recycled product is 1/10 the cost of a new one. Does that mean a durable container only has to make 11 trips to be competitive?
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Andrea Cahill
Posted 3 months ago
The standardization of shipping container sizes, gives the container continued value. Lets design all packaging that way…
Great comments! Thanks and keep 'em coming, Water bottles craze can end as easily as it started. Shipping, however, is a NEED and much more difficult. As much as the air we breath. This helped me get perspective; Please humor me and look around your home. Then, count as many items as you can that have come to be there without EVER being put into a package or box. How did it go? I found 3 items; water collected from my roof and stored in in underground water tank, blanket I crocheted (actually, wool was shipped to store in a box, so make it 2), and our cat who just walked in, oh and sweater knitted long ago (back to 3). Hard to think EVERYTHING requires a package or "luggage", and the object gets tailor made luggage at that! Once at destination, that luggage is without value, even if it's an exact copy. Wow. That toaster is some diva. Add to this, inability to survive from local surroundings. Our survival will be forever dependent on trade. Bermuda made me aware of this immediate effect. One decent Atlantic storm canceling the weekly ship, and empty grocery shelves have a sign that just says "storm." It's like building a road. Once a car drives over that section, we crush up the pavement, throw most of the road into a field or drive to the ocean and chuck it in. Then we build that same road all over again and say we "recycled." We are at 10% recycling now, 90% is our goal. Emerging countries are without that luxury and will likely need to use the cheaper "dirty dozen" for their plastic packaging. Does anyone else feel like the kid from "The Emperor has no Clothes?' If not, what am I missing? I don't see problem solving, just problem slowing. Anyone have a different take? On very complex shipping problem, where to start? is there a line of protective materials?, durable, light, cost effective? Is there a design out there for boxes? containers of all sizes? Can we think of method that poorer countries can afford and easily adopt? Thanks!