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Baby boxes – possibly the cutest way to reuse and recycle packaging

Whether they’re designed to house advice, gifts or a bit of both, baby boxes are a sustainable solution with year-round relevance that are flying the flag for effective reuse.

Firstly, let’s point out that there are two types of baby boxes. There are those that are handed out by governments (such as in Finland and Scotland) in a bid to raise awareness around infant health and the risks of co-sleeping in relation to sudden infant death syndrome (SID).

An alternative box is the monthly or quarterly subscription gift box made popular by companies such as cosmetic brand, Birchbox.

In both cases, the box has the same primary function as all packaging, to protect and preserve the goods inside. This is a solution with a difference, however, since it has been designed with reuse front of mind.

So, no need for time-poor parents to worry about getting rid of excess packaging and how and where they’ll recycle it. Because this is an example of packaging design that’s really very useful once the goods have been removed.

Let’s take a closer look at the two alternatives:  

The government funded baby box  

Finland was the first country to trial the baby box, in 1938. The idea was to give parents a baby ‘starter kit’ of products and at the same time to discourage parents from allowing newborns to sleep in their bed.

The idea is to use the attractively branded corrugate cardboard box as a safe place for baby to sleep in an emergency. Yes, remarkably, the age-old adage of ‘putting the baby to sleep in the bottom draw’, which so many of us have heard regaled by older generation family members, is not such a wacky idea after all!

The concept has proved so popular as an aid for informing parents on infant health that the Scottish government launched a baby box scheme in August 2017. And whilst new parents should opt for a more permanent bedtime arrangement for their newborn, such as a moses basket or crib, the useful lidded box doubles as practical and attractive storage.

The baby subscription box

Following a similar concept to the Finnish baby box, baby subscription ‘gift’ boxes are available to purchase by (or for) new parents as monthly, quarterly or one-off gifts, contain a range of baby products alongside support and advice leaflets.

Since this type of box is not designed to accommodate a baby, however, a little more fun can be had with its design and construction. Innovative shapes and features can be considered, such as our double-walled BoxMart suitcase with carry handle design for Little Babi Box.

Again, the attractively branded ‘vintage suitcase’ style box doubles as a handy storage unit. If it does go for recycling eventually, there’s no need for the consumer to worry about disposal. Our double-layer corrugate handle ensures that the mono-material solution is 100% recyclable.

The innovative handle and a click lock closure feature create added value, making the box portable even when the solution is undergoing its second use as a storage container.

A multi-purpose, eco-conscious concept  

We believe the baby box is a great example of where a good idea meets simple design to achieve fantastic results. No need to overthink it, just deliver an innovative, visually pleasing box for post-product reuse!

With mounting pressure from the government and media for environmentally-friendly packaging solutions, it’s easy for us all to get carried away with the notion that complex solutions are the only thing that will fit the bill. The baby box proves that small changes can be rolled out quickly, without compromising on quality, and with far reaching impact.

Do you have your own innovative project in mind? For more information on our products, please visit contact us today.
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