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Monday, 06 April 2015 | By Gerry Mulvaney


By Gerry Mulvaney, European Sales Manager, Landa Digital Printing

I have got a glass jar in my shed which is full of those essential nuts, bolts, screws and nails that men accumulate and never throw away because they need them at some point in the future. As my wife regularly points out, the contents seem to increase rather than decrease over time so the theory appears to be flawed. When I turn the subject to her wardrobe and suggest a similarity, the conversation is brought to an abrupt halt.

Of course unlike her dresses and shoes, my glass jar started life with a different purpose in mind – it was full of strawberry jam and has now found a second use as a receptacle for my DIY needs. I have also got a large cardboard box, which contained a dozen bottles of wine at Christmas, now doing duty as a recycling container in the kitchen and a yellow plastic bleach bottle, with holes through which the wind whistles, which hangs from the wall in my back garden and scares the next door cat, discouraging it from of messing in my flower beds.

Mind you, I can’t compete in the recycling stakes when compared to the use that SP breweries have made of the boxes that contain their beer cans on the other side of the world to me in Papua New Guinea.

SP Lager mozzie box creation and use

Applying mosquito repellent to SP Lager boxes and burning them to keep the pests away

Apparently the native species of mosquito in that part of Australasia are particularly adept at biting people in the evening. With an outdoor lifestyle of barbeques and camp fires enjoyed by many of their customers, the clever brewers of SP, or rather the clever suppliers of their packaging, have added an insect repellent to the printed images on the boxes. The repellent is activated when the box is burned on the camp fire or barbeque. Genius! If you don’t believe me take a look on YouTube.

Creative Packaging for More Uses and Less Waste

I think that packaging manufacturers might just be missing a trick when it comes to selling their products to brands and incorporating secondary uses could become a good marketing tool, particularly as figures from the US Energy Administration claim that 32% of all waste in the US comes from packaging.

Y Water, a brand of organic kids’ drinks in the US, came up with a clever bottle design that doubles as a part of an interlocking building set when empty. Walmart and HP designed a laptop built into a case which doubles as the protective packaging, and reduced 97% of the normal packaging waste.

Y Water Inc.’sY-shaped bottle

Secondary use packaging by Y-Water Inc. – turning a normally disposable drink
bottle into a toy

The box in which my latest delivery of printed Landa UX white papers and Landa S10 Nanographic Printing® Press brochures recently arrived is currently doubling as a doorstop in my study. What I would really like is if the Landa marketing team could plan a better secondary use for it. I mean, the chances of me needing to ward off mosquitos in a UK summer is slim, but a box that could unfold to form a waterproof gazebo, now that would really come in handy!

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