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I'll take that without the packaging please - and get a discount too!

Imagine being able to buy a product without the packaging at a lower price.

Photo of Alan Somerfield
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Have you noticed how you now see people walking around juggling and dropping groceries as they try and get the shopping home without spending 5p on a carrier bag? It's amazing how you can promote recycling and the environment for years with little effect on plastic bag use and then as soon as you start charging money people respond overnight. Money talks. What a surprise?

So how about we go a step further and offer a discount for not taking the packaging. 

We're all used to the checkout asking if we'd like a bag. How about they also ask if we'd like to leave the packaging behind? If you say yes then the apples come out of the pack and go loose in your bag and you get a discount. The shop then returns the packaging to the manufacturer when it can be recycled or even reused.

This would work great for fruit and veg and take us back to the good old days of the green grocer tipping the loose tatties into your shopping bag.

How does this research relate to our Use Cases?

All those thin film packages around our fruit and veg which are so lightweight they blow away in the breeze would be caught before they got of of the shop door. In small format areas there are many tear off lids which hold dry products like snacks which often you eat on the spot any way.

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

The real point of this is that despite how much people will say they support the environment the thing that really changes their behaviour is money. How else can we provide a financial incentive to the end use to stop these small format packages getting into the environment?

Tell us about yourself

I'm a product design and inventor with a passion for improving the quality of life through innovation.


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Photo of Christel Tardif

Great idea to leave the packaging in the grocery store and send it back to the manufacturer! You're totally right: we are paying twice for a waste (first when we buy the product and its packaging, second when we pay tax to get rid of the packaging) and this is total nonsense!

Photo of Alan Somerfield

Thanks! The foam tray underneath those apples at the top of this article could be reused just like a milk bottle - but actually it would be so much better if the tray was paper.