Rewash and relabel - think old milk bottle!!!!
Favor packaging that can be rewashed and relabelled than those that need to be broken down and remoulded. Think of the old milk bottle! By standardising packaging types this will reduce the recycling burden making it easier for consumers and easier for municipalities. Everyone's a winner.
Drinks manufacturers have been doing this for years in developing countries and in Scandinavia. Why do they think we need shiny new packaging each time, a nice new label will do. Incentivize the customer to do half the work with packaging deposits they collect and return. This will bring savings for everyone; consumer, manufacturer and recycling services.
Think beyond bottles / food trays - lets invent new standard designed packaging!!!
Explain your idea in one sentence
Streamline packaging materials to favor items that can be rewashed and repackaged (glass bottles and jars) rather than melted down - a small packaging deposit will encourage people to return empties to collection points!!!!
How it will work
Collect and rewash
Work with established manufacturers to redesign packaging that can be rewashed and reused without compromising customer experience. Conduct research with customers on what they find acceptable.
Get a few large multinationals to work together on reducing the variety of their packaging. Favor items that can be easily rewashed / reused. Analysis of all food waste and standardisation possible. Suggest that multinationals work team of designers and large supermarket chain for testing.
Why it will succeed?
There are benefits for everyone. The consumer will pay less for the item as the cost of packaging is reduced. The manufacturer will recuperate costs on manufacturing. Municipalities will have to collect less material to be recycled. With a reduced number of packaging materials this will make their work easier and will be less confusing to the customer who is thus more likely to recycle. Win win win!
Questions to the community?
What would you accept as reused and rewashed? Give me your thoughts. Ceramic / aluminium food trays.....
Economic reality of recycling
There is often a big disparity between recyclable and recycled. Many materials are downcycled after each recycle costing more money to recycle back in to the system than to produce new. If economically it costs more to recycle how can we incentivise the rest of the world to do it. Suggest adoption of materials that are worthwhile to recycle. Aluminium / glass etc.
Describe how your idea would help form new habits and improve recycling at home
Giving packaging a value through deposits will change the way we look at packaging. It will not be something we just discard without thought.
How might you design an early, lightweight experiment to further develop your idea?
An analysis of all the types of packaging we have in the home and assess ways they could be standardized. In conjunction with designers propose new innovative standard packaging solutions. Get a few major manufacturers in different domains to trial new packaging with support from supermarket chain.
What aspects of your idea could benefit from the input of our OpenIDEO community?
Get designers on the network to propose aesthetic solutions for different standardised packaging containers.