|Cayden Gates, Jacob Cree, Avery Mustar, Lili Fonteneau
The journey starts now! Every good adventure has to start somewhere, and sometimes that start is right on your doorstep. We have all experienced that sense of joy when we first open a package that has just arrived in the mail. In a matter of seconds, our perception of the product is changed based on the packaging alone; this is an important moment for consumers and producers alike. Coupled with the fact that consumers are becoming increasingly aware of how their actions affect the environment, there is nothing more dangerous to producers than having a consumer open a package that screams “material waste”. For companies, the solution is simple: it is time to pursue a shipper that not only contains, protects, and informs about the product but does so with minimal dunnage while still creating a memorable opening experience that tells a story.
Our team was eager to respond to this challenge; as a result, we produced “EcoShip”, an e-commerce shipper that emphasizes sustainability and practicality for both consumers and producers. We accomplished this goal through our commitment to only using recyclable E-flute corrugated material for both the shipper and packaging insert to reduce cost of production. Therefore, construction only requires one dieline, which would not be the case if we sourced from multiple materials. EcoShip also goes a step farther through its avant-garde design by utilizing an adaptable insert that protects and contains a wide variety of small, fragile products in all six degrees of freedom. This design allows for the elimination of excess dunnage and other filler materials, while securing the product in the center of the package. This configuration helps mitigate burst impacts as force is distributed throughout the suspension layer.
Palletization was also a strong consideration for our team during the design process–we felt that deviating from the traditional rectangular designs of shippers would reduce efficiency of the palletization process during distribution. While we acknowledge that unique styles can easily attract consumer attention, we also recognize that transportation inefficiency caused by poor palletization increases a package’s carbon footprint and should not occur purely as a result of aesthetic design choices.
Throughout the design process, we knew that EcoShip’s role as a shipper could be the start of a journey for many. After pulling the easy access tear strip, consumers are presented with a lush green panel providing material and recyclability information. Also located on the principal display panel is a QR code which guides the consumers to a website to learn more about how to recycle the package, as well as directing them to their nearest recycling location.
The heart of EcoShip lies in the journey, as seen through its circular design elements that reflect its role in closing the loop in packaging. A journey to create a “cradle-to-cradle” economy which advocates for recyclability to better convert packaging waste into high-end products once again.
Through the implementation of EcoShip we truly believe that while the journey starts now, how it ends is up to us.