Pulp Magic

DECEMBER 8, 2017

Two Uses Are Better Than One

First there was recycling. Then there was reusing. But today we’re seeing something much bigger. It’s a cultural shift that experts call the circular economy that redefines responsible consumption. Increasingly consumers are oriented to taking full advantage of the resources they use and then recover and regenerate them when possible. A sign of the times is that the number of Millennials who would sooner use Uber or a bike share than get a license and own a car.

And interestingly, cardboard packaging is on the forefront of this shift. Consider, for example, the repurposable box.  That’s when a box is designed to become something else after its primary mission is complete. A great example is from Zappos, the online shoe store.

zappos-imnotabox-1-537x403This past summer Zappos packed its shoes in a limited number of dual-use boxes to kick off its brilliant #ImNotABox sweepstakes.  These special edition boxes came printed on the inside with template designs for making your own smartphone holder, children’s shoe sizer (very handy), and even a 3D llama.

Everyone else was encouraged to make their own box cut creations and share them online.  And they got a lot of responses from people all over the country literally thinking outside the box.  Some of my favorites are the cardboard wristwatch, the toy car, and the intricate Cat Mansion.

And after you’re done with your creation, you can recycle the whole thing so nothing is lost. KedsBox

In another great example of creative repurposing, Nordstrom, Amazon, Overstock and others are partnering with GiveBackBox to make it easy to reuse the box your purchase came in to give back to people in need.

You simply take your used box, fill it with “gently used clothing, accessories, and shoes” you’d like to donate, and print out a prepaid shipping label, and GiveBackBox will deliver your donation to Goodwill or another local charity. No hassle. No mess. Great feel.

All this goes to prove that cardboard packaging is one of the most useful materials ever created by man (and woman). So useful, in fact, that it never really stops being used.  It’s practically immortal.

To piggyback on this cultural shift, the Paper & Packaging — How Life Unfolds® campaign recently released 8 Great Ways to Reuse Corrugatedworth a watch and a share!