August 31, 2017

Labor Day: The Engineer’s First Package


One can argue packaging began with animal or human skin. Or, perhaps, even the womb (what came first; the chicken or the egg?) But, when I think of the “first package” I think of an entirely different product altogether. Something that is primarily in the backdrop of our lives now and can only be manufactured by Mother Nature herself—leaves!


These days, when we think of leaves, it’s just an extension of a branch that hangs off a tree. At least, until autumn when they begin to fall. Suddenly, they go from a beauty of nature to an obnoxious chore that needs to be raked up. Of course, jumping into a pile of leaves is always fun but I digress!


Leaves are so much more than we give them credit for.


When Neanderthals walked the planet, leaves were a tool for carrying food, used as storage, basket weaving and even bedding. Many cultures to this day still use banana leaves for their packaging. A German company called Leaf Republic even makes modern day plates out of leaves in an effort to reduce waste so the practice isn’t completely in the past.


However, none of these uses could have been possible without the mind of an engineer.


Engineers have a way of seeing the entire system. How it connects and what it needs to work properly. Engineers are natural problem solvers and tend to generate solutions by manipulating materials. An engineer’s mind is in a constant state of trial and error that is always analyzing and seeking improvements. Be it a Neanderthal figuring out how to carry nuts and berries back to his cave or a grey-collar worker concocting the right amount of material for a new customer’s transit needs.


Packaging and the engineer have certainly come a long way since the Neanderthal era.


At EPE, we have over 45 years of engineering experience. Our global knowledge reaches ten countries (and counting!) We have experts with vast experience in packaging disciplines, materials and processes. We’re constantly innovating and are always environmentally conscientious in everything we do.


Next Monday is the first Monday of September, which is traditionally Labor Day. Labor Day celebrates the social and economic achievements of the American workforce. While you can read more about Labor Day’s history, most Americans appreciate what it means to most of us—a three-day weekend!


Whether you’re using this time to get your children ready for school, have one more bbq before the cold weather begins or are an engineer secretly allocating your free time for sketching and troubleshooting that next big idea; have a Happy Labor Day from all of us at EPE!