The packaging that doesn't exist

Image credits: René Magritte, La corde sensible”, 1960


Semi-serious account of an impossible future.

by Stefano Lavorini

You won't believe it (... and you do well not to!) but a group of researchers has published, in the "Technological FakeNews Journal, the discovery of a new material that enables the creation of the perfect packaging, good for any product and application.

It is not cellulose-based, nor produced with polymers from fossil fuels, it is recyclable, biodegradable, compostable and is perfectly machinable on the equipment in use.

Someone already describes it as "made of the stuff of dreams".

At last, thanks to the substantial funds made available by all the players in the supply chain (equivalent to those allocated to the research of the covid vaccine), it seems that a solution has been found that has everyone agrees on:  materials and machinery manufacturers, brand owners, consortia, collectors and MSW sorters.

It is claimed, in fact, that the new packaging literally dissolves - once it has been emptied of its contents, directly in the dustbin at home in a just a few hours, thanks also to studies on chaotic and apparently random phenomena, of which we have recently had news.

In all likelihood, someone will be put out of a job, but this is the inevitable price to pay for an epoch-making innovation that forever erases the problem of packaging waste, returning to packaging its primary and indispensable task of ensuring the protection and distribution of goods, and therefore their deferred consumption in time and space, as well as bear and transfer information about the product and its mode of use...

Sustainability, a theme whose value is now fully assumed by professionals and consumers, is ensured, but even more importantly, packaging (pervasive in itself) will stop being the "emblem of our model of consumption..." as the Ethical Packaging Charter (1) states.

In this way, we would be freed from a nightmare, closing forever the mouths of those (few) incessant critics, those prophets who claim the need to find a solution to the problem of packaging and product sustainability, placing it in relation to consumption patterns.

Maybe from now on no one will dare question the strategic as well as ethical importance of sustainability, of the results obtained and the goals still to be achieved, looking critically at our model of life as the key to inscribing this problem in the real circular economy, capable of ensuring a future for humanity.

Similarly, thanks to the incredible discovery of the new material "made of dreams", we could go beyond an approach that is not only complex but also inconvenient, due to which «without our reneging on “having", the reasons for a broader humanity are not reconstituted, the image of man is not reconstructed on a basis other than that of selfishness, of the savage struggle for the affirmation of the self and its appetites (2)».

So are we finally at peace?

Well, we would still have to solve the problem of CO2 emissions, three quarters of which are attributable to energy production... but that's another subject.


(1) fondazionecartaeticapackaging.org
(2) Renato Barilli, “Dal Boccaccio al Verga”, 2003 R.C.S. Spa Milano