Building a playhouse from an old refrigerator box is a childhood rite of passage. It’s also one way to reuse a very large cardboard box before it’s recycled, but the major appliance industry is trying to make changes to shipping containers to make them more environmentally friendly.
According to Appliance Magazine, “Appliance packages have to be multitaskers. As the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) says, packaging has to be survivable, sustainable, and successful.”
The appliance industry has been putting a heavy emphasis on the sustainability of its packaging for decades. In the early 1990s, Appliance Magazine was reporting how producers like Mr. Coffee (now part of Jarden Consumer Solutions) considered recyclability one of its most important packaging concerns. That’s because packaging was one of the starting points of consumer awareness in green issues. A 1991 survey by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) and the Good Housekeeping Institute showed that about two-thirds of consumers would consider switching to a different small appliance brand if their favorite choice wasn’t packaged in recycled or recyclable materials. Today, consumers are more knowledgeable about environmental issues and, more than ever, they’re choosing green products. That includes green packaging.
In the appliance industry there is a broad spectrum of packaging technologies, but Uwe Jonkmanns, division manager and a member of the management of the MSK Covertech Group sees cardboard boxes increasingly being replaced by film packaging. “Household appliances require a high degree of transport safety, stackability, and display effect, all of this as cost-effective as possible for all kinds of measurements,” he explains. “This is the reason the choice of appropriate packaging is crucial for economization of transport-, storage- and material cost, as well as for the presentation result at the point of sale.”