For the packaging nuts

19Feb08

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An interesting post on 1+1=3 reacting to the new George Monbiot book Heat: How to Stop the Planet from Burning.

In the book, Monbiot says large supermarkets, with their aisles of brightly lit displays, are a large contributor to the production of greenhouse gases. Warehouses that store groceries use less electricity than these big supermarkets. The warehouses can also pack more in as they can go all the way to the roof if they like.

He proposes a change in shopping habits whereby the groceries would go straight from the supermarket’s warehouse to the local corner store, thereby cutting out the need to drive to the brightly lit, energy guzzling supermarket. The supermarket chains themselves would save a massive amount on their energy bill (up to 95% for static electricity consumption Monbiot says).

But then the interesting bit for us designers…

“It seems to me that there may be a further environmental advantage to this proposal: that fancy packaging would no longer be considered necessary. As the point of sale is the computer or the television or the telephone, and the visual stimulus is the catalogue (either electronic or printed), the goods can be delivered in plain parcels, using no more paper or plastic than is required to keep them clean and fresh…”

It all sounds like an impossible dream, but unless we start doing this sort of stuff now, it’s kittens to the future of the world.

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