Dry grains in cones you peel like a fruit. Oils in glass-like domes meant to be cracked open. Smoothies enclosed in seaweed that will also let you know its expiration...
Sweden produces some of the coolest stuff. Ikea, Pippi Longstocking, and now design studio Tomorrow Machine. These designers have developed some very cool, and potentially very sustainable, food packaging. Priding themselves on the use of intelligent materials, the three designs made of bees wax, crystallized sugar, and jelly of agar agar do not disappoint.
Containers and packaging accounted for 30% of all municipal waste for the US alone in 2010. That is 75 million tons, or 11,300 aircraft carriers in weight. This is pretty staggering and whats even more disturbing is that it is increasing. Considering that methane is a very powerful greenhouse gas, and the second most prevalent after carbon dioxide, the 18% methane emissions from landfills filled with our waste is low hanging fruit for mitigation efforts. Plus the energy (and related greenhouse gases released) to produce packaging adds up when you're looking at it on the scale of aircraft carriers. Alternative solutions that aren't intended to end up in the bin are in demand, like this grape-skin thin, edible packaging.
Look at more design prototypes at Tomorrow Machine product site.
This Austin grocery (in.gredients) uses no packaging and patron bring their own containers.
Learn more about consumption with the Story of Stuff.
For other food related design solutions click here for an interesting NYT report.