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back to basics: bento recyclable trays to transport food instead of plastic bags.

A carton tray packaging for produce purchases instead of individual plastic bags. You would load all the produce in the tray / box.

Photo of Arturo Pelayo
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This concept is geared towards sustainability efforts.

If you live in a city, when you go grocery shopping, you end up with a lot of plastic bags which only serve 1 purpose: to weigh the produce at the counter and be placed inside a bigger bag.

You may end up with over a dozen plastic bags which you will not need after unpacking everything at home in your fridge/ kitchen.

If given the option, this system would use a carton tray packaging for produce purchases instead of individual plastic bags. 

You would load all the produce in the tray / box.

Similar to how ALDI stores loan you a cart, you would get your money back when you return to the store, or keep the loaner box which is recyclable.


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Photo of Vincent Cheng

You make a good point Arturo. What if supermarkets didn't provide disposable bags (whether by choice or regulation) and instead supported reusable solutions?

For example, imagine if each time you went to the store, you carried in a stack of 4 portable, lightweight, foldable baskets (stored in the trunk of your car) that can fit inside your shopping cart. While shopping, you could even take one basket out to quickly move down a crowded aisle to pick something up without bringing the whole shopping cart. And at checkout, you simply placed each basket on the conveyor belt where the items are scanned than placed back in the basket. Then, when you reach your car, you simply transfer the baskets from the shopping cart to your car trunk. And the baskets are great for carrying the groceries back into your home.

These reusable baskets could be sold or rented at supermarkets, along with reusable bags, and solutions for bikers & walkers.

Photo of An Old Friend

I've been collaborating with some fellow OpenIDEO-ers on a concept ( that explores reusable packaging. Maybe our conversation will help spark a few ideas.

It is interesting to note the reverse-evolution of other products, in response to energy and modern consumption habits. A modern Honda Civic is larger than a 1980's Honda Accord; they expanded in size over time. Now, shrinking car size is in vogue.

Photo of Arturo Pelayo


Thanks for your message. You are right on track with what I am thinking. If you could fold/ collapse the trays, it would help and also reduced the use of plastics.

I think the idea can certainly carry traction once RFIDs become more commonplace. No need to scan item by item, less of a factory feel and more of a community experience.

RFIDs will automatically get scanned and a contact-less payment could be used. Effectively, zipping in-and-out of the process of check-out.

Maybe "check-out" can transition into better terms.

Photo of Vincent Cheng

Nice, I like where you are taking this Arturo! BTW, did you know that you can update your own concepts when you are logged in (I believe the "Update" button is in the section underneath your picture at the top right of a concept)? If you're interested, you can update this concept with your new thoughts, or anything you find relevant from other commenters like Kirk & I.