packaging trend: less plastic

2017 November 15

apple has tweaked its iPhone packaging to dramatically reduce plastic use

Apple sells over 200 million iPhones a year and each one comes beautifully packaged in a branded box with customised inserts. The unboxing of a new iPhone is an exciting experience valued and shared by Apple consumers - in many ways Apple’s packaging is as celebrated as their products.   

This month, Apple published their Paper and Packaging Strategy as an integral part of their sustainability policy. One of their main priorities is to;

Conserve precious resources by using materials efficiently, using more recycled and renewable content in products, and recovering material from products at the end of their life.” - Paper and Packaging Strategy, Apple October 2017


image courtesy of apple

When Apple set out to tweak their iPhone packaging for the launch of iPhone 7, they were aware that whilst they wanted to reduce the amount of plastic they were using they had to be mindful of their reputation and their consumers’ expectations. With a couple of simple design tweaks, they were able to reduce plastic use by 84% without any reduction in quality or user experience.

The redesign was simple; instead of using two stacked plastic trays inside the box, the iPhone 7 packaging only has one tray made from paper.  In addition, Apple now wraps its headphones around a cardboard holder to remove the need for plastic wrap.

>< opinion

This packaging redesign for iPhone 7 is a great example of how small design tweaks can have a huge impact on the sustainability of a product without diminishing the brand experience.  We want to see more big brands adopting this pro-active approach to packaging design!


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