Starting with name-brand versions of popular products found in virtually any home, this designer has come up with a series of clever solutions to eliminating the waste from each package system on a case-by-case basis.
Aaron Mickelson took on this challenge as a master’s thesis project at the Pratt Institute, asking (and answering) the question: can any product be truly garbage-free, leaving little or nothing unused in its wake? The strategies employed here are also potentially versatile – each could be applied to a type or category of packaging (and would-be trash).
The bag of garbage bags design for GLAD products is fairly straightforward, to the point where one has to wonder why they are not using this strategy already: the last bag contains the rest of the bags, both to make it functional as a bag itself but also to leave it as a reminder to buy more bags (which you can see coming thanks to it being partially transparent as well).
The laundry (or dish) pods for Tide are designed to dissolve in water, leaving nothing behind that you need to take out of the wash, obviating the need for a container entirely.
The OXO pop containers feature soap-soluble ink that breaks down when you wash it, taking the branding materials with it and leaving you with an all-purpose container. As a bonus: these could also come pre-loaded with food rather than simply sold as containers, too, allowing you to buy products then keep the plastic boxes for other uses.
The Nivea bar of soap comes in a septic-safe dissolving paper wrapper that you can bring into the shower or bath with you and not have to worry about throwing out, eliminating a step as well as reducing landfill.
Finally, this Twining tea bag variant eliminates the wax lining that typically prevents composting and instead integrates each tea packet directly into the compost-friendly packaging design that unfolds like an accordion for use.