When I bought my new MacBook Pro, I knew there would be a few necessary accessories, such as cable adapters. I needed two – one to help the new firewire 800 port talk to my old Firewire devices, the other to ensure my screen output could speak VGA.
The Firewire adapter is made by a company called Moshi, while the monitor adapter is made by Apple. Now, I love Apple, and I appreciate that they are, among other things, working to eliminate toxic substances from their manufacturing. But when it comes to simple packaging, they have a long way to go.
At the store level, the packaging did a good job of expressing the simplicity and elegance of the Apple brand. A white-backed plastic bag presented the adapter like a minimalist piece of sculpture, all anchored by a formal black card which introduced it with appropriate gravitas. Ooooh. Aaaah.
But when I got it home I had to wrestle the card apart as it was held fast by some NASA-strength adhesive, which made even the thick, black-coated cardboard impossible to recycle. The plastic bag was likewise unmarked as blue-box worthy. The only piece of the packaging that was recyclable was the paper spec sheet – information which could have easily been printed inside the cardboard top piece, thus eliminating the need for it in the first place. Bad Apple.
By contrast, the Moshi Firewire adapter came in a tidy, compact, uncoated cardboard box. Which, as noted on the package itself, was made from recycled post-consumer waste. There was one piece of plastic which acted as the ‘window’, but this came apart easily for recycling. Nary a drop of glue to be fought. This package also featured a web address for Moshi, where I was able to learn more about their environmental initiatives. Score one for the little guy.
Apple takes so many things to the next level. Why not environmental packaging? If anyone can make green beautiful and functional, it should be Apple.
Call me, Steve.
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