Starre Vartan

Packaging the Future: Fluffy Natural Packaging!

by , 11/04/10

sustainable design, green design, packaging the future, green packaging, biodegradable, green materials, waste reduction

The tropical Kapok tree yields a material that is very lightweight, water-resistant and buoyant. Like milkweed, its fiber is used by the plant for seed protection and dispersal. Produced by the Ceiba pentandra tree in the Caribbean, South America and Africa in fairly high volume, it can provide a decent income to the people who live near the tree and collect the fibers, as it does require a high degree of hand-processing. As the tree often grows in places where people need jobs and don’t necessarily have other options or technology, this can be an ideal material for a collective to harvest. People use it as a filling for stuffed animals and as an allergen-free pillow stuffing. The fiber is mold and dust-mite resistant and and has a silky texture, but it looks like cotton. Although it’s not strong enough to be spun into yarn, other uses outside of filler are being looked into.

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3 Comments

  1. JimL November 11, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Please contact me about our natural packaging.

  2. mikepetrucci November 8, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    I really like the idea of popcorn being used! Do you think they could do flavored popcorn? Imagine getting packages with caramel popcorn! Something to eat while you unbox your new gizmo!

    Also, this reminds me of a company making eco friendly packaging material out of mushrooms! It’s not whole edible mushrooms (although I think it’s edible) but a grown/formed/shaped piece. Here is video on it: http://www.energynow.com/video/2010/10/27/mushroom-provide-ecofriendly-packaging-material

    Oh, and one thing I just noticed is that some packing peanuts I get are the new ones made from corn starch. To prove to my coworkers that they are different, I show how they disintegrate on water or even in my mouth! I try not to eat more than 1 or 2 though, haha!

  3. quiltingmatilda November 5, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Stop using food for packing (unless it can be eaten by man or beast after shipping). Give the foam peanuts back to the FedEx/UPS driver for reuse at the retail store.

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