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Changes in Packaging over the Years Essay

Packaging is generally crumpled, creased, folded, bundled, binned, shredded, sorted, sometimes recycled, and often cast aside. Whether the protective material is corrugate, Styrofoam peanuts, or sealed air, consumers are largely indifferent, only the product nestled inside matters. Consumers are not alone. Packaging rarely receives the attention demand planning, materials sourcing, manufacturing, transportation, distribution, and return logistics enjoy. For some manufacturers, however, product packaging has redeeming value. Ensuring customers receive what they order in mint condition and at minimal cost is the mark of a well- thought-out strategy. Packaging of fruits and vegetables is undertaken primarily to assemble the production in convenient units for marketing and distribution. In my opinion, fruits and vegetables should be taken care of the most when it comes to packaging. They are very rich source of minerals and vitamins and people depend on them for many benefits so packaging can definitely affect it. The increased production of fruits and vegetables and other agricultural production will be fully realized only when they reach the consumer in good condition and at a reasonable price.

The present packaging systems for fresh vegetables is unscientific. Uses of traditional forms of packages like bamboo baskets are still prevalent. Other types of packages generally used are wooden boxes and gunnysacks. Use of corrugated fiber board boxes is limited. Baskets besides being unhygienic also do not allow adequate aeration and convenience of easy handling and stocking. Better packaging should be of immediate value in reducing waste; for example edible packaging which can be eaten after using. Milk packaging has had a good recycling rate in the past, with glass bottles having the ability to be reused up to 40 times before needing to be recycled. The majority of milk being sold through supermarkets where a variety of packaging formats have been used including Tetra Pak cartons and low density polyethylene plastic milk containers but the latest method of packaging is using plastic bags.

The co-operative launched eco-pouches aimed at environmentally conscious customers who were trying to reduce the plastic garbage. As the initial response was positive, the milk bag was awarded the ‘Best New Product’ at the 2008 Green Business Awards. However, due to poor demand for the milk bags a lot of milk remained unsold, resulting in losses to the company so they stopped selling milk in eco pouches. While plastic milk cartons were declared to be recycled successfully, estimates suggested only one in four was recycled. It’s now purchased in 1L bags to fit a reusable plastic jug, which must be purchased separately. The jug can fit into any refrigerator door and can store 75 empty eco-packs. Once the bag is placed in the jug, a corner is snipped off with scissors and when the bag is empty it can be recycled.

Plastic furniture gained a lot of popularity over the last few years. People realized that it has a lot of advantages over wooden furniture. They are tough and durable, anti corrosive, light weight, maintenance free, and they have a better pleasing appearance. However, Plastic doors are not suitable for entry doors as they are of very light weight and not weather proof as wooden or metal doors are. Cardboard is a heavy paper-like material. There is still not complete and uniform usage. Often the term “cardboard” is avoided because it does not define any particular material. The first corrugated cardboard box manufactured in the USA was in 1895. By the early 1900s, wooden crates and boxes were being replaced by corrugated paper shipping cartons and these are the well-known cardboard boxes we all know and use today.

Plastic bags differ in many ways such that if a consumer only uses a conventional HDPE plastic bag just once (say to carry their groceries home before throwing the bag away), a paper bag would have to be reused 3 times, a heavy-duty plastic bag made from Low-Density Polyethylene would have to be used 4 times, a plastic “bag-for-life” made of non-woven Polypropylene would have to be used 11 times, and a cotton (or canvas) bag would need to be re-used 131 times. With that as a reference, a cotton/cloth canvas bag user does over twice the damage to the environment that a plastic bag using grocery shopper who throws away every plastic bag they get immediately after each shopping trip, as they will likely have to replace their more environmentally destructive bag at least once long before they reach 131 uses. When companies have conditions such as high volume shipments, worker safety, or ergonomic issues, they may be in good positions to take advantage of the savings by using Reusable Packaging. Reusable Packaging benefits include direct savings in packaging purchase and disposal as a result of repeated reuse.

Higher initial purchase price translates into a lower cost per trip through repeated reuse. Other economic benefits can come through productivity gains where reusable packaging better addresses the needs of the work process, such as through design for better parts presentation. Reusable packaging is also associated with better protection of parts and reduced damage. Pyramids made of (natural materials) wooden and fiberglass have been used to understand this energy. Square and octagonal shapes of pyramids with different sizes have been used in this study in an attempt to analyze preservation of milk kept under the pyramids for a period of 14 days.

Some of the bacteria that grow in milk were counted by repeated sampling of milk covered by the pyramids and compared with a milk sample kept without a pyramid. Individual bacterial counts and total bacterial plate counts were obtained and the results tabulated. Pyramids made of natural materials have shown better energies than synthetic materials. Pyramids are a source of an unknown form of energy, which has unique capabilities of preservation. Nowadays, the difference between products are getting less and less so competition is getting more and more which forces companies to compete on something other than the product itself. That is when Packaging comes in the picture. If almost all of the products are the same, I, as a consumer, will pick my product depending on how it will benefit me later on. If a glass is reusable, it will most likely be the one I pick.


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