The consideration of functionality and design will not only lead to creativity and innovation, it may also, if done with an eye on the needs of customers and the planet, can aid the transition to sustainable packaging.
Here are three examples of design thinking that considers functionality that can have many added benefits for companies.
The butterfly on the end of this tea bag string is not only functional in holding the tea string to the edge of the cup so it is not pulled in when the water is added, it is an aesthetic treat that adds to the experience of the tea. It takes a nice time-out moment of reflection in a hectic day and adds an aesthetic dimension.
This simple earthy design for a half-dozen eggs both shows off the simple naturalness of the product as well as performing the functions of protecting the eggs (even when turned on end or upside down) and opening for egg removal. It can likely also be made of 100% recycled cardboard pulp, then re-recycled, or even better used again.
Source: Pinterest via Ultralinx
“Package design is very important as it complements the product and creates an instant image of what to expect. Most of the companies do not bother creating visually appealing package designs as it is still going to be thrown away but using a unique and creative package can go a long way and create a memorable experience for the user.” – Ultralinx
Imagine your partner’s reaction when they come home and go to hang up their coat and find flowers on their hanger? What else could this be used for? A convenient place to keep a scarf or gloves? Something even more useful?
This is a great example of design thinking: Simply by asking the question, “In what ways can this packaging have a further use than its prime purpose?” doors are opened and a rush of fuel is sent to the creative engine.
When designers start thinking with sustainability as a goal, they begin asking additional and different questions. When this happens ideas for the sustainable Use, Repair, Reuse, Refurbishment, and only then Recycling begin to make themselves apparent in many ways. This opens the idea up to creative insights and encourages innovation.
The Added Benefit: If your packaging is removed and thrown away, it will not be seen again. However, the more uses your packaging has, the more places your product will be seen, and this extends and deepens the brand relationship.