For his Masters Thesis in Packaging Design at Pratt Institute, Aaron Mickelson created a series of eco-friendly packages that are designed to be consumed with the products they hold such that no waste remains. Per his description of the Disappearing Package:Every year, we throw away a ton of packaging waste (actually, over 70 million tons). It makes up the single largest percentage of trash in our landfills (beating out industrial waste, electronics, food... everything). Figures released by the EPA indicate this problem is getting worse every year.
As a package designer (and grad student—meaning I know everything and can solve every problem, naturally), I was concerned about where this trend is going. Of course, many talented designers working in the field have made great efforts over the past few years to reduce the amount of packaging that goes onto a product. However, for my Masters Thesis, I asked the question: Can we eliminate that waste entirely?
To that end, Mickelson has come up with five potential solutions that either incorporate water-soluble materials and/or printing directly on products as hypothetical but largely feasible alternatives to superfluous paper and plastic packaging. "I realize each presents its own manufacturing or distribution challenge; however, each also presents opportunities available to package designers right now."
As in Diane Leclair Bisson's Edible Containers, the packaging is generally designed to be consumed with its contents, leaving nary a trace of excess.
Hit the jump to see his solutions for GLAD garbage bags, Twinings teabags and Nivea soap...