Starre Vartan

Egregious Packaging Hall of Shame: Styrofoam

by , 10/26/10

sustainable design, green design, packaging the future, green packaging, styrofoam, environmental design, biodegradable packaging

Over at Housefish, a great eco-friendly furniture store (FSC-certified wood, nontoxic varnishes, and are key points), the owner, Scott Bennett, ran up against this very problem; how did he ship his gorgeous furniture without marring it a bit (taking into consideration the vicissitudes of the major US shippers) AND maintain his eco-cred? He wrote, “Petroleum based foam is extremely hard to avoid. We really didn’t want to use any plastics anywhere in this product, but there are very few suitable alternatives to EPS (commonly known as Styrofoam) for heavy objects like furniture.” But with a little digging and a few months’ worth of research, Scott found a solution (what I like to call a happy eco-ending!).

“We are very pleased to announce we have just completed our switch to 100% paper-based internal packaging materials. Any Key modular storage orders shipped after today will be completely free of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS, e.g. Styrofoam) and Polyethylene (PE, e.g. foam wrap).They have been replaced by Hexacomb kraft paper honeycomb, and cellulose wadding (which is a bit like extra thick toilet paper). Both products are made from 100% recycled fiber, and are themselves recyclable with your normal household paper or cardboard.”

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4 Comments

  1. Heather Cyrus October 30, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Thank you for writing about such good news! A key aspect to the loop of green design must be the “marketing.” For the future health of our planet, it is essential that products be designed in a green manner AND implemented by a wide range and far-reaching business sector. There is a big movement for businesses to become increasingly “eco-friendly,” yet many individuals don’t know where to turn for solutions- they don’t know that alternatives exist, and that must change For every organization that adopts sustainable practices, it’s imperative we see 10 more follow suit.

  2. Egregious Packaging Hal... October 30, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    [...] READ MORE> 0 email thisemail facebookfacebook diggdigg tweetmeme_url = "http://inhabitat.com/2010/10/30/egregious-packaging-hall-of-shame-styrofoam-packaging/"; tweetmeme_style = "compact"; [...]

  3. sita12 October 26, 2010 at 11:57 am

    packaging can be compostable! check out this biodegradable packaging made from mushrooms made by my friends over at ecovative design! http://www.ecovativedesign.com

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