Have you ever wondered how the packaging industry evolved since the early days of mankind? Do you know the greatest packaging changes took place during the industrial revolution? I run you through the sands of history to briefly explain how packaging changed over time.
The need to store and shift goods originated since the early days of humanity. Nomadic tribes used animal skins, leaves and dried gourds to store and transport items. As men’s possession were limited in prehistoric times, such crude materials were sufficient to move their belongings from one place to another. As years passed by, packaging materials became more technologically advanced to accommodate the need for transporting larger and bulkier goods.
In this piece, I turn back time to explain how the packaging industry evolved over the years to what it stands today.
In the nomadic age, hunters used tanned animal skins known as hides to contain and carry food and weapons along with them. Bottle-shaped gourds acted like containing devices to store water and other lighter stuff. Interestingly even wood was carved and layered with leaves to mimic storing containers.
Packaging in Neolithic Era
As civilization expanded to farming and grew into villages, sacks and baskets were woven from vegetable fibers to store agricultural produce and move them one place to another. Clay shaped pots were used to cool foods during summers and preserve foods for the winters. Wooden boxes and crates were constructed to contain and carry heavier items.
When agricultural societies became more urban in the 18th century, the industrial revolution created a demand for more lightweight and cheaper packaging to transport goods through ships and planes. Although the first cardboard box was invented in England in 1817 its use became known only in the 19th century. British industrialist Sir Malcolm Thornhill produced the first line of commercial cardboard boxes and after this the corrugated box gained wide popularity to wrap up and preserve things.
The rise of cities and trade brought a demand for more innovative packaging and this churned the wheels of the packaging industry. With a bulk requirement for boxes and containers, packaging machines were invented to meet the rising demand. Primary packaging materials such as large-sized boxes and plastic bags were all introduced during this time to support manufacturers in moving goods through the supply chain. Also, as consumers wanted more attractive and smaller packages to break the bulk more individualised packaging came into play with thin polythene plastic packets and bubble wraps.
Over the years the frequent use of plastics caused a menace to the environment due to its non-biodegradable characteristics. Concerns about climate change and harm to wildlife significantly altered consumer behaviour. More consumers are now seeking recyclable and sustainable packaging to reduce the industry’s impact on the environment. Green packing materials such as reusable cardboard boxes, recyclable paper tapes, crumpled paper rolls, blankets and furniture covers are perfect examples of environmental-friendly packaging in the relocation industry.
I hope this article offered an intriguing idea of how packaging materials improved over the ages and the need to use sustainable packaging to live up to an eco-consciousness brand image.
At E-Movers, best movers in UAE, we are sensitized towards environmental issues and we utilize only green packing and reusable materials to make every move an eco-friendly one. Our packers and movers also offer clients tips to recycle packaging materials and minimize landfill waste. As an eco-conscious UAE moving company, we take pride in helping people move homes and offices in a cleaner, safer and more efficient manner
Chirantan Joshi, Managing Director, E-Movers