Monday, September 12, 2005

Unsung Disaster Hero: Packaging

During times of disaster it's important to recognize that there are just as many heroes behind the scenes as there are in the media spotlight. Consider how all the relief efforts would be progressing without a simple common element: packaging. Whether it's bottled water or MRE's (meals ready to eat), it is the packaging that make rescue/relief efforts this achievable. Consider that we live in a country so blessed with manufacturing capabilities that they are able to switch manufacturing operations from processing beer to bottling water in a quick turnaround.

This is not the first time industry has risen to the occasion. Food and water are essentials in any disaster relief effort. But what conveys a product from origination to disaster relief? What makes bottled water what it is? The packaging of course. We take packaging for granted in every aspect of our lives every day. It's only when catastrophes such as Hurricane Katrina bring packaging to the forefront. Packaging is an integral part of any product that gets to any customer or consumer and ordinarily it gets a "bad rap." Think about where we would be without containers to ship products. There would be no relief efforts providing the essentials.

There would be no way to transport relief supplies from point A to point B. In fact, there wouldn't be supplies at all. So the next time you open that bottle, can, jar, or box consider what goes on behind the scenes that makes it possible. If you know anyone in the packaging industry (the third largest industry) offer them thanks for a job well done. Even if they haven't contributed directly to the relief efforts just working in the packaging industry makes it possible for someone else to provide relief.

Its plain and simple: without a package you can't have a product.

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