How might nature inspire solutions to our most difficult packaging challenges?

Every day, postal workers deliver millions of packages through the mail, trucks full of produce are transported around the globe, and billions of dollars worth of packaged products are created, bought, and sold. Packaging is a ubiquitous, necessary aspect of modern consumer cultures. It keeps our products safe, clean, and intact. Yet over time, much of this packaging leads to waste and pollution. Isn’t there a better way to package the products and services we use every day? If we look to nature, there are signs that the answer is yes. This collection aims to explore some of the varied ways in which nature designs and develops life-friendly packaging.

What can the folding wings of a flying insect teach us about durable yet flexible materials? How does nature build breathable containers? What clues from nature might point us toward designing protective packaging that serves an additional use after the item is unwrapped? Much like humans, the rest of nature is continuously on the move and transporting goods. How can nature’s ideas help us design solutions to our most difficult packaging challenges?