Packaging Soylent


#1

Just got my Soylent today :smile:

I hope that in the future Soylent changes their packaging. I’m not talking about the pouch or the oil bottle but the boxes it ships in.

The packaging is easily 2-3 times bigger than is necessary. I can almost get all 4 weeks of the pouches into one weeks box.

One way that they could do it would to use the same boxes but put 14 days in a box rather than 7. I know this would create some logistical problems with 7 day orders but it would be a lot easier to deal with when it gets dropped off (maybe even cheaper to ship?).

The other way would be to move to smaller boxes of 7 days.

One of @rob’s stated benefits of Soylent is the lower impact on the environment (with regards to food production). Shipping in a box that’s 2-3 times larger than needed seems to run counter to that.

I know this won’t happen too soon because there are more important kinks to work out in their entire supply and production process, but I hope they will give some thought to this.


#2

This was actually addressed, I think by JulioMiles, a while ago. He said they’d had to order the boxes before they knew the dimensions of some of the other packaging, and therefore erred on the side of too large. Who knows when they’ll run out of their initial order’s worth of boxes, but I’m sure it’s something they’ll look into fixing soon.

Especially given that I read a news report recently that shipping prices are going to increase for items with a lot of bulk but not a lot of weight. I think it was talking about FedEx too, though I don’t know whether it was FedEx Ground or FedEx Express (in some ways they’re almost different companies).


#3

Box’s don;t hurt the world fyi…


#4

Sure they do. The extra cardboard is wasted paper / wasted trees (plus the added cost of making and transporting more cardboard, which itself also has a carbon footprint beyond the carbon footprint of the materials themselves).
Plus, since they take up more space than necessary, that means fewer other boxes can fit on the same fedEx truck when they’re shipped out, so you need more trucks to transport the same amount of stuff, which is a net waste of gas and man-hours (for drivers).

I’m sure you could get even more detailed about every step along the production chain where the larger boxes add to the total waste / carbon footprint. That said, I get why they had to go with the bigger boxes for the first run when other variables were less certain. Totally understandable. And I’m sure they’ll look into more efficient packaging when it’s logistically feasible/appropriate.


#5

[quote=“mrcodehpr01, post:3, topic:14290, full:true”]
Box’s don;t hurt the world fyi…
[/quote]If you’re referring to recycling, paper/cardboard is not infinitely recyclable like aluminum, glass, and some plastics. Paper is made of organic fibers that degrade over time and are not entirely preserved in the recycling process.


#6

Because of the significant lead time required by the box manufacturer we had to make a best guess as to the volume/size of a Soylent 1.0 pouch when finalizing the shipping box design. We erred on the larger side, as some wasted space is better than having to redefine a week as 6 days :smile:

An updated shipping box design is in the works, it’s quite a bit more compact.


#7

From what I heard with the oil bottles, can I recommend a small “box” inside the box for the oil?


#8

They already use a small box for the oil. The issue I have seen is that the small box has only been closed in one of the shipments I have opened, the rest of the small boxes have been left open, allowing the bottles to fall out and roll around.


#9

A simple search would have let you see that this has been addressed a few times already.


#10

While sorting through my Soylent I found that I could easily fit 2 months of Soylent in 5 of the 1 week boxes. If the oil didn’t leak from some bottles when on their side I could fit 3 months in 7 boxes. Heck if I tried hard enough I think I could fit an entire month worth of powder in 1 box.


#11

I lie, 3 months (12 weeks) of Soylent in a total of 5x1 week boxes. Hopefully Soylent 2.0 won’t have oil which would cut it down by one more box.


Here’s mine and my girlfriends ‘Soylent Station’, 12 weeks of Soylent and 20 gallons of water:


#12

On a different note related to packaging, I would kind of prefer they came in ordinary brown cardboard boxes instead of the white ones that boldly announce “Soylent” on them. Once regular deliveries get going and I start receiving boxes every week or every month, I don’t want all my neighbors to think I’m a weirdo. I mean, I probably am … but that’s my business. Not a big issue … I can live with the current packaging. I would just prefer something a little more under the radar.


#13

It’s a food product not porn O-o


#14

well i mean soylent kinda carries a stigma with it. kinda like porn, it is not socially acceptable yet. I mean who eats from a bottle? it can be embarassing if you don’t want people to know


#15

As someone waiting for their turn to get Soylent (2-week combined order), and as a self-professed “tree-hugger”, I’m curious about all of the packaging materials, including the pouch and oil bottles. Are they recyclable, including the plastics? Considering that the pouch and oil would be discarded every day, that’s a lot of waste if they aren’t. If they are recyclable, are they marked as such with the triangle (and number)?


#16

Bottles have what looks to be a 1 on the bottom- its not very readable. They are stamped saying they are made of PET.

Bags appear to be mylar and do not have a recycle sign on them.


#17

That’s somewhat disappointing. For a “bag a day”, that’s an enormous amount of waste.

@JulioMiles, can you comment on the amount of waste that will be heading to the landfills? Will there be an effort to make the bags recyclable in the future?


#18

The amount of packaging waste from a full month of Soylent is SO little compared to the waste we used to generate from all the frozen meals, plastic wrap, and boxes. I’m not terribly eco-conscious at all (there’s really not a lot we can do to hurt this planet on a global timescale… only ourselves and other species) but it is still pretty cool to see our garbage can be a lot less full each week.


#19

I agree the amount of waste produced by consuming this product is already beneficial to reducing waste products. There is much they can do by reducing box size and weight to help with reducing the costs and energy associated with packaging and shipping. I’m all for making it more eco friendly packaging so long as they can maintain the 2 year shelf life.


#20

They could even make smaller bags honestly :slight_smile: heh in my head I am imagining small bags shaped like boxes when full, that fit snugly into a small box