We had a guest speaker named Brad, from General Mills, come into our classroom recently. Our class had a good discussion about biodegradability with Brad. Brad explained how General mills has been working on a package that will be 100% biodegradable, effective by keeping their cereals dry and good for a long time, and still being cheap enough to make good profit from. Right now, our speaker claimed that the problem is in the bags. I believe he said that there were three layers in the bags that allows it to be such an effective package at keeping the cereal dry and keeping costs down. One of the biggest problems was that the biodegradable packages could not match this existing bag's performance.
As I thought about this challenge Brad was facing I remembered, Doesn't Sun Chips have a new biodegradable bag? And don't chips have to be dry to ensure customer satisfaction? The answer is, yes, so I went out and bought a bag to try for myself. The change in packaging is noble and I think, a smart play for Sun Chips, as they will peak the interest of many customers. The package is, however, more noisy and obnoxious than any other package on the face of this earth. This fact made me question this exact model bag as being the correct solution for housing chips. I decided it was more like the first real step in the future direction of chip packaging.
It also occurred to me that even though this is probably not the perfect chip package as it may be too noisy for some to bear, it makes a perfect cereal bag. Our speaker, Brad, mentioned that cereal would forever remain in a tall, skinny, rectangular, box for several reasons. Number one, that package shape has burned its self into people's brains. It IS the shape of cereal. Number two, the box allows the cereal to stand out, be seen, and appear to be superior to other cereal brands. Since the box is not going away, way would it matter if the bag inside were noisy? At least this package would not make much noise just by simply picking it up. I think this is a great opportunity for General Mills and the future of our environment.
check out my links.
I have posted a link to the Sunchip's site containing a video on their new package.
I have also posted a link to the Greenerpackage.com website where another packager from general mills has made a post on the topic of Biodegradable Plastic Additives.