Thursday, 15 April 2010

The problems of packaging...

I was wandering down the street the other day and I came across this bit of mess on the sidewalk. The bags lasted for about 2 blocks, and were blowing even further. For those of you who haven't worked in a retail store - each garment comes packaged in a plastic bag, just like men's shirts, then are grouped in usually 6's, and then put in another bag, and then put in a box (sometimes a reusable plastic box that goes back to the warehouse, sometimes not). Every day, when the new stock comes in, it is all taken out if its bags, security tagged, and put on the shelves, and when sold, put in a different plastic bag.

Hundreds of these bags are thrown in the garbage - as there is no daily recycling for this type of waste, and number 5 plastic (polypropylene) is not easily recycled in most places. This is a significant design challenge - is there a way to collect and reuse these bags? Can we find a better way to package things for shipping? Can we package things so that these bags can be used as a final bag at the cash? We all think we are doing 'good' for the environment when we bring our own bags to the store, but that's only the half of it it seems... so to the packaging designers and fashion companies out there - I'm calling you out in order find a better solution to this waste.

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