Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Packaging and trash

I pride myself in having been very clued in on consumer marketing. I've even come up with many innovative products and services and, sketched (in my clumsy way) product logos that have been financially successful.
I am still a junkie for strong brands. When Tiger Woods first endorsed Nike I was 100% into Nike for several years; shoes, T-shirts, shorts and so on. I am a brand loyalist. I am the type of consumer marketing companies dream about. Terrible, but true. I subscribe to the belief that if my sporting hero endorses it, then, if I wear the T-shirt or don the shoes, I, too, can be like the sporting hero, in skill and deportment and carry the same aura. Yes, I am another wannabe sucker and shamelessly so.

That part of the advertising and promotions industry I absolutely have no problems with.

What peeves me, however, is the part of the advertising and promotions industry that feels the need to come up with so much packaging material to sell their products.
Most of the trash and rubbish that we throw away is actually packaging material. Most of them are temporal dressage to attract the impulse of the prospective customer. Once the product is consumed, we are left with trash and rubbish.

It is a taboo subject to connect trash to packaging.
I've watched hours of Discovery and National Geographic programmes on how to treat trash and rubbish. Compact them, incinerate them, recycle them. But none of the programmes ever track back to the source of the scourge...the packaging.

How do we package the cry for less packaging? I don't have the answer yet. But it's got something to do with brands, though.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks de minimis for a very environment-friendly post written with so much candor and sincerity.

I believe that the 'over'packaging of products is due to many producers' inherent need to develop brand loyalty that overides the importance of utility and value for money principle.

If we look at product packaging these days, we can be so awed by the color, the fancy packaging material, the layers of packaging boxes and papers used to pack the product. It is especially so for in Japan. I always get so appalled by the wastage of resources used for this exercise that has been taken beyond the point of 'sanity'.

For me, where well-established products are concerned, even without these excessive package, I am still going to buy it. So why don’t the producers give the consumer the choice and added benefit of an environment friendly product and give the manufacture the choice of cost cutting?

With a reduction in packaging,we reduce trash and conserve space cos we will not need to have to deal with bags and boxes etc both at home and at the point of sale.

Food carry out is a prime example where organic packing could help. (those Styrofoam/ Plastic take away home boxes and the plastic bags to carry out can be and should be reduced).

We must not forget that the amount of and type of packaging determines the quantity of material that ends of as trash vs. degradable / recyclable material and these will definitely affect our quality of life in the long run.

But as long as producers wish to pamper the whims and fancies of consumers, to entice them with outward appearances and packaging, consumers are likely to be influenced by extrinsic factors rather than intrinsic values pertaining to the quality of the product. Sadly, (to digress)I can see that such a mindset has unconsciously affected the way society regards individuals...

Thus, I believe that the root cause is in the producers and their warped values of production, USP and quality in their production.

I do apologize for this verbal diarrhoea but this is one topic that is close to my heart for I worked as a writer in an environment-protection agency for two years when I first graduated.

Thanks again for the post and the pics/graphics that embellished your message. :-)