Packaging: Green, Lean and the Innovation Team - 05/26/13

Packaging: Green, Lean and the Innovation Team

The last 10 years has seen businesses focusing on the ‘Green Scene’ at rapidly increasing rates.

What is your Carbon Footprint? Not just a question for every household to consider, but one for corporations to consider on a larger scale. Landfill waste is a huge problem and consumers are certainly starting to take notice. It’s not unusual for businesses to ask questions around sustainability when interviewing prospective vendors for any product or service. Take the organizations listed on The Huffington Post’s top 12 most eco-friendly companies on the planet; Considering, for example, Nike: ‘ At its headquarters in the Netherlands, underground energy storage is used together with recycled aluminium frames in the construction of the building itself.’

Businesses are constantly pushing to clearly understand the importance of establishing respect through responsibility both business to business and business to consumer. One avenue for businesses to seriously consider in this endeavour is; How Green are we? So, what does this mean for innovators? Basically, this all translates into constant opportunities being created for scientists with new concepts looking to bring these to the forefront. Businesses are looking for innovators input almost constantly; meaning savvy innovators should be sourcing the correct platform to introduce their technologies.

In terms of the opportunities sustainability markets are bringing, the options of which route to go down are vast. So, eco innovations, where to start? 

Packaging is a hot topic right now. It seems to be one of the first ports of call for many Green initiatives.  Reduce it, change the materials or simply get rid of it all together as per Kenco’s recent, thought provoking, ad campaign showing people walking around the supermarket with hands full of coffee beans! Not Ideal! 

Taking a closer look at some of the ideas both past and present coming forward from Innovators here’s an insight into some HOT Topics.

Banana Fibre Paper

One of the more recent packaging advancements that innovators are starting to think about is Banana Fibre Paper. This form of paper is often used for writing; however many businesses are now starting to focus their attention on using the material for wrapping paper, cardboard boxes and other forms of packaging. One of the primary benefits of Banana Fibre Paper is that it is 100% combustible. However, this is just one of many 100% combustible materials, perhaps there is something more suitable for the packaging industry? 

Bamboo Cushioning

Styrofoam is one of the most harmful forms of packaging on the planet. It is a petroleum-based product that isn’t biodegradable. Sadly this form of packaging is one of the most commonly used. Since Dell began utilizing Bamboo Cushioning in 2009 many other companies have begun to follow suit in order to decrease their Carbon Footprint. Bamboo Cushioning is as an eco-friendly alternative to Styrofoam that is cheap to produce and fully biodegradable. 

Edible Rice Paper

It may be a long-shot, but many fast food restaurants could eventually start using edible rice paper for their packaging. Although most companies are only utilizing this packaging method for marketing purposes, it’s possible that they could soon be adopted by mainstream fast food companies in the near future.

Ok, so there’s a way to go! Maybe you or someone you know has a better idea?! Businesses are looking for insight in the packaging arena all the time! Over the next 10 years we are guaranteed to see the shelves of our supermarkets undergo some serious transformation.

The original ethos of companies such as Hewlett Packard really is translating to modern society in a big way. When Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard founded their company in 1939, their philosophy was that technology could improve society as a whole and that vision included the impact of organisations on the environment. One thing is for sure here, in the modern day, no company wants to be left behind therefore the correct innovations are key! will allow innovators and scouts to connect in order to develop new packaging ideas. Many innovators will have the knowledge required to develop new technologies, but will lack the business contacts in order to bring their innovations to market. works together with scouts and innovators to make ideas a reality. 

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