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Electronics manufacturers like Apple and Samsung have made strides in packaging their goods in less plastic and more sustainable ways, going as far as designing boxes that consumers can repurpose into furniture and papercraft templates. But devices like smartphones also drive sales of a range of accessories, such as protective cases, wall and car chargers, and cables, some of which might still come wrapped up in plastic.

Wireless carrier Verizon launched its house brand of device accessories in 2021. Looking to reduce the overall carbon footprint of its accessory line while elevating the unboxing experience, they once again turned to Michael Bierut and Jon Marshall, partners at Pentagram, to design the packaging for the branded range.

Pentagram’s design team worked with sustainability consulting firm Giraffe Innovation to develop a baseline carbon footprint using existing packaging and measure the progress made with the redesign. The analysis by Giraffe Innovation showed that they could achieve significant sustainability gains by reducing the overall size of the packaging and removing all plastic. The Pentagram design team used this information to inform Verizon’s new packaging while creating a hero unboxing presentation and product protection.

The design for the packaging follows Verizon’s visual identity, also designed by Pentagram in 2016. Detailed images of the product dominate the front, negating the need for a clear plastic window or clamshell—plus, using a tear strip, Pentagram managed to remove plastic tamper seals. The new packaging also uses soy-based ink to reduce its environmental impact, and the accessories come housed on a tray inside, which slides out to create the showcasing unboxing experience. Additionally, the retail hanger slides out for in-store sales and slides into the box for a reduced shipping footprint.

You’ll also find several mentions of the packaging’s recyclability and Verizon’s commitment to plant a tree for every accessory sold, up to a million. Some inner trays also include a recyclability message, just in case you missed it on one of several panels on the outside.

According to further analysis by Giraffe Innovations, the new packaging reduced CO2e (Carbon Dioxide equivalent) by 22% compared to the prior packaging, achieved by using more post-consumer waste, reducing the size, and eliminating plastic.

And when you add it all up, it seems like a no-brainer, right? Reduce the packaging size? Eliminate plastic? Regardless, there are still plenty of brands that need to hear this message, particularly when it comes to tech (and accessory) packaging.

Must be a good time to be Giraffe Innovations right about now.

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