November 15th, 2016 | Our lens

Packaging: a consumer journey and a material issue

by Ambienta

In 2010 divers discovered 168 bottles of 170 years old Veuve Clicquot champagne while exploring a shipwreck in the Baltic sea.

These bottles, recovered 5 years later, proved to be a perfectly effective packaging. Only 1 was contaminated by sea water, while the others, perfectly sealed, allowed a remarkable preservation of the product according to analysis. Researchers even determined it was much more sugary than today to appeal Russian taste at the time.

From the mid 19th century when those bottles sank, packaging has changed and spread far beyond what anyone could have thought of. Today it is hard to think of any food or product that is not packaged. Even fresh tomatoes bought from a farm shop will be wrapped in at least a paper sheet or bag.

The extent that packaging has been rooted into our society is impressive. That same bottle of champagne has to fulfill today many more requirements than purely conservation and protection. Packaging reflects desires, aspirations, trends and changes in society as very few other things we can think about. The evidence is clear all around: from the seabed of the Baltic Sea to the last e-commerce purchase we made or on the supermarkets’ shelves.

In this newsletter we will guide you through the quintessential display of modern society, its environmental drawbacks and the related investment opportunities.