Living Packaging Replenishes Produce
UK-based Masters student Hyunee Hwang has created a 'living' fruit basket, which lets consumers harvest and pick fresh fruit at home.
The basket, made with living tree roots, houses small branches of fruit trees, and is currently available in cherry, berry and fig varieties. Baskets come with a water spritzer to keep fruit moist, and miniature forceps to harvest produce.
New technologies – such as mobile-phone-controlled hydroponics systems and micro greenhouses – are equipping consumers with the tools to farm at home, providing them with access to fresh and local produce at affordable price points. For more on this, see Future Farming.
Urban businesses are also embracing micro farming with on-site growing facilities. Global electronics company Toshiba converted a disused factory into a high-tech vegetable farm, as explored in Toshiba's High-Tech Farm. Meanwhile, US-based supermarket concept Farmery provides on-site harvesting facilities for public use. See Future of the Supermarket.
Building on this concept, forward-thinking brands are developing new ways to reduce packaging waste and provide sustainable alternatives. Here, edible, dissolvable and dual-purpose packaging solutions have become popular alternatives. For further insight, see Shape-Shifting Packaging and Packaging Futures: Sustainability.