Vendors line the halls of Fancy Food Fest

You Can Make Packaging From Wetland Weed

by Casha Doemland on 11/09/2018 | 2 Minute Read

In a world that's continually evolving, it's no surprise that designers are uncovering new uses for materials that have been around since the dawn of time. Take soft-rush for example, a perennial plant found in wetlands, marshes and ditches that has officially graduated from the grass you see on the side of the road to something that can be used to produce packaging materials.

Dutch designer and Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Don Kwaning revealed this new material made from the pith of soft rush late last month as a way to combat plastic waste.

And there’s plenty of it to go around for that matter. Every year, thousands of pounds of soft rush are removed by the state forestry department in the Netherlands where it is fermented and transformed into biofuel.

As Kwaning found out, you can also turn it into a paper-like material. The pith or the soft center can be utilized to produce packagings like noodle strings and foam blocks without using bonding additives whatsoever. The soft rush can also be transformed into non-wovens, textiles, and corrugated cardboard.

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"The interesting thing is that you can make furniture and packaging materials from the same material, so low and high-value products from the same material," said Kwaning in Dezeen.

To showcase his revelation to the world, Kwaning displayed noodle-like packaging material, packaging papers and boxes, and a set of five storage boxes at the Design Academy Eindhoven graduate show at last month's Dutch Design Week.

All of this just proves that there are sustainable and creative ways to avoid waste in packaging— it’s just a matter of sourcing and developing the right material. As technology advances and designers become savvier with what nature provides them, the world of packaging will continue to transform the industry, making the world a greener place.

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