This blogpost is part of a series that was created to inspire CEOs to become Chief Environmental Officers. Read our other posts on how to rethink packaging, recycling or distribution.

Think out-of-the-packaging-box! If you are not able to change packaging to keep your product safe, why not rethink your product itself? Some businesses already did, that’s why there is toothpaste in the form of tablets, solid shampoo, or detergent replacements that contain tiny ceramic balls. One of these can be used up to 1500 wash loads without chemicals and all the plastic packaging that would come with it.

If the nature of your product makes it impossible to think creatively, approach the problem from a practical angle: sell in larger quantities, in higher concentration or offer refills.

There are companies, for example, which sell mouthwash and toothpaste tablets in beautiful premium jars. Once they run out of tablets, customers can order refills. Thus saving a large amount of plastic packaging by changing the shape of the product as well as the distribution method.

Another packaging-reducing idea is to provide a single durable sprinkler to a range of household cleaning products. The various cleaners in the family come as concentrates in small jars that can be mounted onto the bottom of the single empty sprinkler. Just add water to the concentrate and you are ready to go.

In case it’s possible without degrading the quality of your product, the amount of plastic packaging can also be reduced by compressing your product. For example, coconut fiber used for planting plants is sold in the form of compressed bricks. At home customers just add water to it and it immediately expands to its original size.