Vending Reinvented: Imagine a supermarket where packaged goods are made to order

Read the full story in The Hub Magazine.

It’s amazing how technology has changed our lives over the last few decades with the advent of personal computers, smart phones, and the internet. However, with the exception of improvements at self check-out, the retail store remains essentially unchanged, especially the store shelves. As marketers seek to satisfy the desires and preferences of an ever growing populous with pre-packaged flavors, scents and sizes, the proliferation of product offerings clogs our shelves, confuses our shoppers and stresses our planet.

We need to rethink product packaging, as it is the single largest category of landfill waste and the biggest component of ocean litter that harms marine life. The average American produces about 4.4 pounds of garbage a day and 1,600 pounds a year. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the energy to produce, use and dispose of products and packaging, accounts for 44 percent of total US greenhouse gas emissions. While we have embraced the convenience of disposability, the reality is that a disposable society is no longer a sustainable one.

The world simply cannot continue to satisfy the variety of consumer desires with pre-packaged goods. I envision something radically different. By incorporating the sophisticated technologies of modern culture, we can create game-changing packaging solutions for a more sustainable future.

Author: Laura B.

I'm the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center's Sustainability Information Curator, which is a fancy way of saying embedded librarian. I'm also Executive Director of the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable. When not writing for Environmental News Bits, I'm an avid reader. Visit Laura's Reads to see what I'm currently reading.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s