(image above) blow-up packaging
Air filled packaging
This air-filled packaging design patented by Great Western Packaging Company uses several eco-design strategies to reduce its environmental impact.
Q-cell interlinked cushions of air, absorb impact energy by displacing air to adjacent cells. The cushioning systems can be designed to suit any specification - in fact they have also created a computer package which will work out all the relevant technical information (cushion thickness, aperture sizes and positions, costings etc) for a given dimension, weight, fragility etc.
The Q-cells are meticulously checked prior to being reused:
"Each Q-cell system is bar coded and labelled, for identification and traceability, giving control over the number of times they are re-used to the manufacturer. Before they are re-used, each system is given a Quality Control check, and then delivered ready to package new products." This way the manufacturer knows what spec. each seemingly identical Q-cell actually is.
By reusing the cells the useful life of the product is extended and the frequency at which companies have to deal with waste material is reduced.
The design has been proven to be more effective in protecting products, than traditional methods used in packaging. Packaging of this nature is becoming more widely used to transport a range of goods - e.g. books from Amazon.co.uk