Internet retail giant Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) has launched a new packaging initiative that could significantly reduce waste, while making it easier for customers to liberate products from their packages.
Amazon said it is focusing first on two kinds of items: those enclosed in hard plastic cases known as "clamshells" and those secured with plastic-coated wire ties, commonly used in toy packaging.
One of the first products to launch with "Frustration-Free Packaging"
is the Fisher-Price Imaginext Adventures Pirate Ship, which is now
delivered in an easy-to-open, recyclable cardboard box.
packaging eliminates 36 inches of plastic-coated wire ties, 1,576.5
square inches of printed corrugated package inserts and 36.1 square
inches of printed folding carton materials. Also eliminated are 175.25
square inches of PVC blisters, 3.5 square inches of ABS molded styrene
and two molded plastic fasteners.
Small items, such as memory
cards, are also good candidates for Frustration-Free Packaging.
Typically encased in oversized plastic clamshells to deter shoplifting,
memory cards are then placed inside larger cardboard boxes for shipment
to customers. Working with Transcend, Amazon has eliminated the
hard-to-open clamshell and the need for an additional box. Instead, the
cards will now ship inside recyclable cardboard envelopes which use
less material. Amazon is working to shrink the envelope size even
Frustration-Free Packaging is being launched in the U.S. with 19 bestselling products from leading manufacturers including Fisher-Price, Mattel, Microsoft and electronics manufacturer Transcend. The product is exactly the same–Amazon has just streamlined the packaging. The project will expand across Amazon’s international sites beginning in 2009.
"It will take many years, but our vision is to offer our entire catalog of products in Frustration-Free Packaging," Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, said.