By John Comberiate
An up and coming low impact packaging idea comes from the British company “Harmless“. Everyone’s received a magazine covered in a plastic bag in the mail at some point in their lives. Everyone has shipped a delicately packed box with a fragile treasure inside meant for a close friend or relative. So we’re all familiar with packing materials as well as the waste that goes along with disposing of them once they’ve completed their useful life. Harmless is making that waste a little more eco-friendly.
Harmless has several options that have the ability to accommodate packing needs but the most impressive is the Harmless-Dissolve. Similar to any magazine wrapping you’ve received in the past, the Harmless-Dissolve protects the magazine from knicks, scratches and tears from point of origin to your door. Different though, is how you get rid of it; you just put it in water. The Creative Review, for examples, is shipping its magazine out this month in Harmless-Dissolve and even has demonstrational pictures of it in action.
All Broken Up About It
Given that plastic bags have been around for years, how has Harmless made them this different? Most of its products are created using corn or potato starch rather than fossil fuel plastics like polythene. These natural plastics will then break down over time into water, carbon dioxide and biomass. Traditional plastics will break into pieces, only breaking down when additional chemicals are added.
Harmless is just one example of the rise of “eco-packaging”, which, though not as truly “eco” as having no packaging at all, is worthy of some praise. While the gold rush towards sustainability continues, companies like Harmless will continue to cash in – and its customers will continue to earn green cred by changing their packaging habits – a nice win-win. This is the kind of hot topic we can all get onboard buzzing about.
John Comberiate is a first year MBA student in the Accelerated Part-Time track at the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School. Working as a blogger and as member of Toastmasters International, he is developing the skills needed to spread the word about Social Value creation occurring in the world and how people can get involved.