When I was a kid soda came in thick glass bottles and Fanta cans could challenge a man’s strength. What happened?
Marketers have come to realize that by downgrading the strength of the bottle or can significantly cost savings can be realized.
Lighter packages also cut weight and allow for more products to ship at lower freight costs. Also, there’s a new term that retailers have been embracing, Sustainable Packaging. The goal is to reduce the amount of energy and the carbon footprint used to make & recycle packaging. It’s better for the environment saves energy, and reduces cost. Green is Good.
As an example, let’s look at the lightweight plastic bottle & flexible pouch. Their common use has replaced much glass and cans on the retail shelf. These packages are known as being unsupportable because they can no longer be stacked 4 high on pallets in the warehouse. Today, some bottles are so thin that even six-packs can no longer be bundled together. A tray must be added otherwise they fall over in the process.
So the unsupported package becomes a supported package. So the solution oddly enough is to add a tray
( as pictured above ). This tray costs additional money to make and handle. Although hidden the cost is ultimately absorbed by the consumer and the environmental benefits get are diluted.
When shipping pallets across the country these lightweight products often need airbags to prevent damage in transit. Warehouses can no longer stack beverages so expensive new pallet racking must be introduced. The consequences are real and the perceived benefits aren’t as valuable. Even so, next time you open a bottle of water and squeeze it to drink don’t be too upset that the water’s all over your shirt. Just laugh and recognize you're making the world better.