The idea of circular economy is a seed planted in a growing amount of minds, a seed that won’t stop to grow and that each time is further away from being just an idealistic dream (like a CEO for a well known brand recently told me). Is being an idealist, for example, to believe in permanent packaging? A packaging that’s not disposable but made out of sustainable materials replacing plastics.
It’s not easy to transform and change the habits of consumption and many may ask themselves if this new vison is even viable for a brand. Permanent packaging is a concept and a gateway of changing consumer behavior, production models and brand strategies for companies aiming towards a sustainable future. The challenge is to not forget to keep the produce fresh and undamaged.
There are different forms of permanent packaging. Some provide a system of waste reduction through a subscription based service, like the Myro deodorant, which consists of a refillable durable container (packaging made of plastic yes, but with a long lifespan).
The trend of our established system has been to gradually lower the production cost, resulting in cheaper packaging which leaves greater carbon footprints and contamination. Is this not the consumer’s problem who bought the product in the first place? Meaning each individual’s responsibility to recycle their own residues:) Today’s model is that every time a consumer buys a product he/she takes care of the recycling, depending of the local recycling system. The consumer may also choose not to, many may think that environmental friendly issues are not an individual concern and that a single person won’t affect the bigger picture.
Coscla provides a cero plastic waste residue system with its glass and silicone bottles. With the company’s free of charge Water app it indicates the location of refill stations to the consumer. Water free of charge! They have to be communists for sure!!!
Loop introduces a concept of a purchase and refill delivery system of selected consumer goods, using packaging of stainless steel and glass. When the consumer runs out of the product a pick up of the container is scheduled. Once It’s returned it goes through a cleaning process and preparation for a coming order.
Alternative materials is a reality so why haven’t they been introduced to the consumer market? Maybe It’s because the brands don’t feel responsable of the entire lifespan of their products, which leads to a lack of responsability in dealing with the residue aspect ( The governments should take some action in this respect, don’t you think? ) The incentive of change lay in the hand of consumers to choose wisely and excercise their consumer power. Choosing brands with a circular vision and production model. One example is the household cleaning brand Blueland where you purchase the products in glass bottles and once used you make a refill order of tablets which the consumer on his/her end blend with water.
If everything that we consume has a lifespan, it’s each one of us obligation to commit to the most sustainable one. This involves branding agencies, designers, brands and consumers, from the beginning to the end of a product’s lifecycle. We also have to ask ourselves how we relate to products as a society and how they affect our environment. In this sense permanent packaging could be an excellent new starting point.