Packaging is a fascinating area to watch - there's the train wreck of over-packaging, the excitement of brilliantly designed packaging, and the crazy cool technologies for creating packaging from strange places like bacteria. But there's also the head-scratchers, like packaging that you can't quite tell is edgy or over the top. One such design has come out of STI Group, one of Europe's leading packaging experts, who created a book slipcase that features a solar powered OLED light to read by. Useful, or wasteful?According to OLED Display, the solar cell-powered OLED slipcover encases a book called "GREEN PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGIES," and it illuminates a portion of the slipcase, turning the packaging into a useful device for the consumer...at least, for a few seconds. It represents the world's first integration of this futuristic technology into packaging, but is it really any good beyond a novelty?
The slipcover itself is make from corrugated paper from FSC-certified trees...Then there's the solar cell and OLED light. Will consumers really use it? Will they keep it? Or will it become e-waste? We're guessing, unfortunately, the latter will be mostly true. And besides that, does a book really need a slipcover at all?
So while innovative and an interesting use of OLED technology, we have to say this packaging is not as eco-friendly as the creators are playing it off to be, even though it does cover a book focused on green technologies.
STI Group states, ""Environmental protection and sustainability are prime issues for our society. German industrial companies are already leaders on the world market right now when it comes to tackling the tremendous challenges of reducing emissions and conserving resources. We're pleased that these key qualities are now for the first time being captured in a comprehensive book," Dr. Florian Langenscheidt commented."
Too bad the book touts a slipcover that, while underscoring the theme of the book, increases its embodied energy and carbon footprint to an illogical level.
UPDATE: A new post from OLED-Info tells us that the solar cell only operates as a sensor (light detector) - the OLED is powered from a battery. So it's extra not-all-that-cool-or-green.
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