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CASE: RePack

The Plan B company’s RePack packaging addresses a major everyday problem. The spread of online purchasing increases the consumption of packaging materials. Although cardboard is recyclable, it nonetheless has a major ecological footprint, which continues to grow.

RePack is a reusable postal package with a deposit that is particularly suited to mailing clothes. The bag’s size can be reduced by rolling it. Even when used only twice – the package can be used approximately 20 times – it is more environmentally friendly than conventional cardboard boxes. RePack outsmarts any average disposable packaging in many ways: it is more durable, more sustainable and good-looking. Repack is made out of polypropylene. All materials are 100 % recoverable.

In the carbon footprint calculations RePack was compared to 20 disposable packages that were thrown away after one use, since RePack is designed to last at least 20 times. The calculations showed that RePack has 50 % smaller carbon footprint compared to throw away packages.

The RePack is free for web vendors. Their customers pay a deposit of a few euros for it. The strong bag is closed with a sticker and sealed with an address tape. The customer removes the address, folds the bag and returns it into a mailbox. The deposit is then refunded with a coupon for the customer’s next web purchase. Customers will receive a reward from the Plan B company even for returning an "exploded" package.

The Plan B company was founded by two industrial designers and an environmental scientist, an expert in carbon footprint. RePack is a practical solution to reducing the amount of packaging material. The purpose is not only to optimize the carbon footprint, where the overall effect is small, and it is neither about the product itself. RePack’s concept represents a new approach of doing things, where the product and the service are merged into one. It is a new business model, which may be on its way of disrupting and transforming the market.

"Repack is designed to be returned and reused, removing disposable packaging waste every time it is used. So, in essence, it's a no trash packaging solution." –Plan B company