Sustainable packaging? Bring out the popcorn!
For my first post of the year I received the inspiration from a Christmas present my sister received while I was visiting her.
I’ve always had the habit of keeping the little styrofoam packing peanuts of any package I receive so that I can reuse them whenever I have to send something out myself. It saves me money and I ensure that the material is used at least once more. Sadly though, I’m sure that this is not something that everybody does and undoubtedly most of these peanuts end up in the trash after a single use, contributing to our waste problems.
But what’s the alternative? Well, as I mentioned, my sister received this gift during the holidays which I thought was brilliantly simple and a very nicely thought alternative. It was a little box with shower and bath soaps which used POPCORN (!!!) instead of styrofoam.
The soaps are produced by an Italian company called Lush which specializes in hand made cosmetics and they are really proud of their packaging so in the little booklet that comes with the products, they let you know WHY they use popcorn and HOW they make their popcorn.
“Our popcorn is not GM (genetically modified) and our (giant!) popcorn machine uses eolic energy.
Don’t eat them or take them to the cinema”
And apparently they not only use popcorn, but sometimes also starch-based packing peanuts in different colors which you can use to play with as building blocks as can be seen in the picture above taken from Lush‘s booklet.
I don’t know if these alternatives are very practical for large scale packaging or for a bigger production line than what you can get on a handcrafted enterprise such as Lush, or if they could even withstand a long storage period or voyage (rodents, moisture, etc could be a problem) but in any case it is nice to see that there are people out there finding and using ingenious and playful ways to innovate while having a sustainable mindset.