On Sunday I had what I mistook for a flash of inspiration:

 Make the form of the object portray the second use, not the first. It seems daft to stick with the form traditionally associated with the packaging (punnet style, shoebox, beerbox etc) and then go through an elaborate system of folds and tabs to make it into the second form. Why not rather start at your end point and work backwards?

So for organic fruit packaging where I’d like to raise awareness of PLA and the cycle of life, make the packaging in the shape of a typical pot plant, with a seed and soil in a separate part of the base so that consumers are encouraged to grow their own organic fruit. That shape will hold fruit just as well, and my thinking is that the novel appearance would be potentially eye catching from a consumers perspective, especially in a supermarket setting.

Not sure Nick saw my “brilliance” on this one though.

The other completely random idea I had was around fireworks. Given they are always so unsafe, and prone to misfiring, it would be good if the box that they came in could be folded to act as a support structure.

But it seems a wee bit late to change direction now.

In an ideal world, I’d pursue the fruit basket that turns into an organics disposal unit, but two things concern me about that. One, it seems like a bit of a wasteful approach to material (even though after composting it is re-used as fertiliser to promote the growth of more food), and two, I don’t have time. I should really take an extra week to do this, but I’m full up with three different part-time jobs as of Monday 19th.

Ah well.

Perhaps I’ve just lost my way on this one. I’ve become increasingly convinced that an arbitrary second use isn’t the way to go with packaging. It looks like shit, (like packaging folded into something else), and it just delays its ultimate trip to the landfill. As I mentioned in a much earlier post, the way that I see it there are only two ways to go: for things like single use food packaging, make it biodegradable (second use compost – particularly where the useful lifespan is less than 20 minutes in most foodcourts), or otherwise make it last forever. Recycling is, supposedly for the most part downcycling, so there’s no real point in being anywhere between those two points on the spectrum of possible second lives.


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