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Inner Packaging Solution with Grind Materials

Use of grind materials for inner packaging protection solutions for products and have then returned (app to support take back logistics).

Photo of Athanasios Kyriazis
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According to a report from ERNST & YOUNG (link) global packaging is a USD 400 billion industry, in which 34% is paper and board (USD136 billion). Most of the packaging in thrown away or is send to recycling in dedicated bins (municipality efforts to waste reduction). One of the key report insights is that process improvements (packaging creation and re-usability) are key to sustainable competitive advantage for packaging corporations. Furthermore, we observed that there are several cases (e.g. e-commerce products) packaging is only marginally destroyed and that are directly send for recycling and/or reused by the consumer. There are no incentives or processes (mechanism) for the end consumer to return the packaging.

The idea of Inner Packaging Solution with grind materials has two main components: 

  1. Use of NIKE grind materials to create inner packaging blocks. These inner packaging blocks are intended to protect goods and reused when returned to shipping/logistics corporations. 

  2. A subscription based inner packaging solution that allows “renting” the inner packaging blocks to corporations. The value proposition for shipping companies is that they can reuse the inner blocks and thus reducing the over cost of packaging. The value proposition for customers is that they can get a packaging discount for returning the package. Key hypothesis is that for in house appliances and high value consumer goods, makes financial sense (it is cost effective) to have the empty package shipped back to the sender.

Consider the following case studies (design cases)

Manufacturers and Third-party Logistics Companies

  • Manufacturers who handle their own delivery process: They usually handle bulk-quantity orders / shipments, which require sturdy but minimal packaging (inner & outer).

  • Logistics Companies: Their focus is to make sure the goods are delivered in the right condition, at the right time, to the right place and for the right cost. They need to handle many different types of product (general wholesale goods, food…) and their competitive advantage usually includes packaging service for the goods. However, packaging is a cost that they target to minimize.

The current common forms of inner packaging these companies use:

For inner stuffing protection (which are not easy to re-use):

  1. Styrofoam

  2. Bubble-wrap / Air-cushion, which are made of plastics

For outer packaging (partly re-used):

  1. Cardboard boxes for dry goods

  2. Foam boxes for cold / thermal products

E-commerce SME (regional online shops that handle logistics and delivery of goods)

These businesses’ main target is the final consumers and more specifically, regular customers with recurring purchases. As a no-inventory e-commerce business (e.g: Lazada), their main value proposition is their delivery strategy (similar to logistics company).

As an e-commerce company that delivers its own products (stock-keeping / mix; e.g: IT / Household appliance retailers; Amazon), packaging is a significant cost that they plan to be able to reduce. They can benefit from the re-usability of packaging by taking them back with the next delivery to the customer.

The proposed idea targets to: 

  1. Maximise the re-usability of packaging, and in the end, actually reduce the cost & environmental impact 

  2. Support Sustainable branding of corporations through use of an subscription service that allows them to return used inner packaging items.

Our hypothesis is that the above corporations can use the inner packaging blocks, since they already using packaging material to protect their goods. In addition, introducing a subscription-based model of using these block, could result in engaging their customers to return the packaging.

Our hypothesis here is that: 

  1. Saving money form packaging could offset the cost of take back logistics

  2. Corporations see value in engaging (providing inventive) to their customers to ship black they empty package.  

Company / Organization Name (if applicable)

There is no formal company / organization.

Website (if applicable)

Not applicable

Which Nike Grind materials will your idea utilize?

  • Rubber Outsoles
  • Rubber Flashings
  • Rubber Granulate
  • EVA Foam Injection Scraps
  • EVA Foam Flashings
  • EVA Foam Sheets & Blocks
  • EVA Foam Components
  • Laminated EVA Foam
  • Laminated PU Foam
  • Mixed Apparel Textile
  • Mixed Footwear Textile
  • Footwear Fiber "Fluff"

How specifically will these materials be incorporated into your solution?

The purpose of the inner packaging blocks is to protect the shipped goods. These blocks are created: > Use of the Mixed Footwear textile or apparel textile to create the shape (outer cell) of the inner packaging blocks > Fill the cell with Rubber, Foam or Footwear Fiber “Fluff”. Each block is filled with one of the above materials and provides a different protection property (elastic, robust and soft) In this manner we create several blocks that have different properties and can be combined to provide an inner packaging solution depended on the shipped good.

Please include a visual (can be either 2D or 3D) representation/prototype of your concept. (required)

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Research & Early Testing

Describe your target market. Who will benefit from your product?

Please see details on the target market at the Idea Full description section > Manufacturers and Third-party Logistics Companies > E-commerce SME

How will you scale your idea? Please describe in detail your plan to scale your concept.

We plan to scale this idea with the following steps Step 1: Creation of Inner Packaging block MVP and presentation of solution to a regional e-commerce corporation. Step 2: Creation of a Web plug-in that can be integrated into the system of the manufacturers / logistics companies or the website of the e-commerce companies. - Allow corporations to track the package / inner package return status - Allow the customer to say that they would like to return the packaging in the next order - Allow the customer to convert the returned packaging into incentives Step 3: Formation of partnership with NIKE and regional e-commerce corporation to run for limited amount of product (shipping goods) the full solution model. Step 4: Roll out a detail business plans and lunch efforts for funding and scaling. Step 5: Consider to handle outer box for companies handling bulk-quantity delivery (manufacturers / logistics or moving companies

How is your idea innovative?

The idea is innovative because: > Uses the NIKE grind materials to create a simple solution for an existing industry need (inner packaging requirement for protecting goods) > Proposes a business model to incentivize stakeholders (customers, corporations and logistic companies) to participate in take back logistics.

What inspired this idea?

The following factors contributed to the generation of the idea: > Circular Economy: Subscription Model > Lego bricks: Module block and design > Packaging Industry: First thing that a consumer disposes

Tell us about yourself and your team. What is your background and experience?

Business Design Lead - Experienced manager with 10 years of international experience in Data analytics, Project & Program Management, Business Development and Innovation. Information on the team is provided in the short descriptions of team members.

In what city are you located?

4 members Athens 2 members Ho Chi Minh City

In what country are you located?

Greece & Vietnam

What is your legal / organizational structure? (if applicable)

Not applicable. There is no legal entity. Team of creative thinkers, entrepreneurs with a drive for social impact.

Please describe how becoming a Top Idea will support the growth of your concept.

Becoming a top idea will support the refinement of the Inner Packaging concept with NIKE grind materials through: > Ideo community feedback and refinement > Ability to prototype and create a clear business case > Open source solution that corporations and communities could use to reduce waste > Possibility to proof our idea in the market place and get additional funding for scaling.
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Team (5)

Athanasios's profile
Andreas - Orpheas's profile
Andreas - Orpheas Makos

Role added on team:

"Web Application UX/UI Design - Multidisciplinary Design Engineer, with experience in design and consulting for Products, Digital Systems and Services. Background in Industrial Design, UX & Interaction Design, Service and Strategy."

Maria.Petratou's profile

Role added on team:

"Product Design Lead - Product designer with 10 years of experience in Product Design, Project Management and Innovation. Conducted design research, led solutions development and designed several products for global markets in the FMCG sector. Specialized at designing products of high production volume and worked with international design agencies at every stage of the design process. Background in Industrial Design and Business Management in Fashion."

Panos's profile
Panos Mazarakis

Role added on team:

"Product Designer"

Kaylee's profile
Kaylee Tran

Role added on team:

"Experienced in analysing business needs for product design and development. Background in IT & IS consulting."

Attachments (1)

Grind inner packaging blocks vf.pdf

Short presentation of proposed use of Grind Materials.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Lauren Ito

Hi Athanasios Kyriazis ,

A reminder that the ideas phase of this Challenge closes in less than one hour, at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Please have your submission updated by this deadline with content to all proposal questions complete.

Excited to have you in the Challenge!

Photo of Athanasios Kyriazis

Hi Lauren,
I only see your message now. Haven't I filled out all the Idea Submission fields?
I made sure I've added a relevant comment to all fields of the application, including 3D drawings and descriptions as requests.
I am not sure I understand what is missing from the idea application.


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