The Next Big Thing

If you are like me, you’ve noticed your attention towards Amazon.com ™ increasing as the years go by. What started with a couple of orders per year has morphed into over a hundred for us in 2017. Amazon Prime ™ is so darned convenient, prices are good, and the selection is astronomical.

If you share my concern for the environment, and if you see the increasing trend of online ordering as I do, one major flaw in that system becomes glaringly obvious; the waste. Retail packaging is designed to intrigue a customer with some room on the credit card that is strolling down the retail isles. Catchy packaging can make the difference between small and large sales. But if the customer is strolling down e-isles instead, I would argue the flashy packaging is mostly irrelevant.

Once the e-order is placed, your item, securely bundled in it’s irrelevant plastic, will be put inside another box along with some packing material to keep it from wobbling enroute. The ratio of disposable packaging to useful product is surprisingly high.

So here is the next big thing — reusable packaging. Industry will standardize on certain sizes for product containers. These containers will be able to have a label slapped on them, and will ship safely as they are. When the customer receives their item, the empty package will be broken down and placed on the porch. The next time the UPS truck stops by, there will be an off-load and an on-load. The packaging will be returned to the manufacturer for cleaning and reuse.

Then we can go to work cleaning the plastic gunk out of the oceans without us throwing our hands in the air. The rate we are creating and disposing of this useless one-use packaging will go down to zero. And some cleaver entrepreneur will be fortunate enough to design and sell this packaging system to the world, and get very rich in the process.

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