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The Future is Cardboard

As technology develops, every year we are looking for the next innovation, and when you look to the future you might imagine flying cars and floating cities. But what if, instead, our future was a little more recyclable? Corrugated packaging is fulfilling the desire for materials to be recyclable, with a low environmental impact and reusable.

Take Google, for example, who have released a cardboard Unity SDK, a popular 3D platform, in another move away from smartphone VR. In November, Google Cardboard was open-sourced as the company stopped active development on the affordable, smartphone-based VR platform. As promised, Google released the Cardboard Unity SDK to continue the community development with the platform.

The Cardboard open source project allows the “developer community continue to build Cardboard experiences and add support to their apps for an ever increasing diversity of smartphone screen resolutions and configurations.”

If one of the largest companies in the world is heading towards a more cardboard future, you might agree it’s a good future to bet on.

Another company that is taking a step towards futuristic cardboard is a company called Hacamo, based in Japan.

Hacamo have made a full-size, working vending machine that is made primarily out of cardboard. Like other vending machines, this one dispenses canned drinks, though it offers neither refrigeration, nor does it have a coin mechanism. Instead, it has a simple push button and rubber band system that causes drinks to drop into its tray.

Though the machine does not possess the technology that we might imagine when we look towards the future, it does indeed feel more eco-friendly and not to mention most likely a lot easier to put together and move.

Another big-name company taking steps towards cardboard is Coca-Cola, who at the end of last year took the leap from plastic shrink packaging to cardboard packaging to keep their packs of 4 cans together. The recyclable paperboard KeelClip (GPI) comprises of a top board that cans clip into and a central cardboard ‘keel’ that stabilises the pack.

Coca-Cola and their European partners are all looking to make the move from plastic shrink to cardboard on their multipacks by the end of 2021. They will be following brands who have also recently ditched their plastic shrink wrap and chosen cardboard, like Budweiser, Stella Artois and Bud Light.

So, we may not be looking at flying cars in the not so distant future, but we’re glad to see that cardboard is taking the limelight in some respects and hope that other companies make that step towards a greener future.

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