Whilst there remains growing cynicism concerning climate change and recycling across the globe, there’s no doubt that packaging waste remains a key environmental concern in the modern age.
In 2016, a whopping 170kg of packaging waste was generated per EU inhabitant, with figures varying from 55kg per person in Croatia and a whopping 221kg in Germany. This highlights a clear issue, but fortunately one that the world’s leading couriers are now looking to address.
TNT Express is leading this charge, with the courier having collaborated DS Smith to create a customisable and durable container that can also meet the varying needs of clients. But how does this work, and why does it represent the future of global packaging?
A Closer Look at the Container
TNT commissioned DS Smith to design the flagship container for them last year, with their brief being to create customisable plastic packaging that can simultaneously meet extreme transportation conditions and minimise plastic waste products.
Make no mistake; plastic remains the single biggest environmental challenge from a packaging perspective, with the global population of seven billion generating a staggering 320 million tonnes of plastic during 2016 alone. Every day, an estimated eight million pieces of plastic find their way into our oceans, and this trend will continue without intervention.
To this end, the container designed by DS Smith has been manufactured using 100% recyclable materials, creating a sustainable and reusable and option that can be used in multiple scenarios.
As we’ve already touched on, TNT also wanted to design an eco-friendly container that was fit for purpose, and this created a significant challenge for the team at DS Smith. After all, TNT (which is a subsidiary of the huge FedEx brand) currently collects, sorts and distributes packages in more than 200 countries across the globe, whilst regularly shipping goods to some of the world’s most remote and far-flung locations.
This is why DS Smith were committed to creating such a robust and durable container, and one that could absorb the physical wear-and-tear associated with multiple trips overseas.
The brand currently collects, sorts and transports packages in more than 200 countries across the globe, whilst regularly shipping goods to some of the world’s most remote and far-flung locations.
Will this Represent a Sea Change in the Packaging Industry?
In truth, TNT’s collaboration with DS Smith is the continuation of a wider trend in the packaging industry, which has been driven by the principles of customisation and sustainability in recent times.
This is embodied by the rise of materials such as corrugated cardboard, which provides durable container options that can benefit from multiple uses over time.
However, there’s no doubt that the new container designed by DS Smith has taken the notion of sustainable packaging onto an entirely new level, and not only because it makes use of a material that remains the number one environmental hazard from a packaging perspective.
This reusable container can also last for decades, with its reinforced design creating a functional product that can thrive in the most challenging conditions.
This certainly blazes a trail for other designs to follow in the future, as couriers begin to place sustainable packaging at the heart of their business models.