I am just back from Seoul. It’s an amazing, high octane city, very hi tech, with plenty of innovation. I have not noticed much innovation in the day to day sustainability however. In fact, by the look of it, there appear to be less recycling initiatives, in the streets and in eating places. But the thing that was most noticeable was packaging.
Across Asia, packaging, other than its functional purpose, has a cultural element to it – elaborate packaging is usually required by etiquette. And yes, products look amazing as a result. However many manufacturers these days use plastic and other non recyclable types of packaging which leads to overuse of non recyclable packaging.
Do I really need my sweet packed in 3 layers of plastic? I will rephrase. With all the damage done and being done to the environment, can we afford having elaborate packaging, the only purpose of which is following the norms of etiquette?
Minimalist, bare essentials, recyclable packaging is what we should be thinking. This should mean cheaper packaging and less impact on environment. And knowing Korea’s fascinating approach to design, I am sure they can make minimalist packaging look amazing while bringing to life the minimalist tradition of Asia.