It'd be truly great if all packages shrank to the size of the items they contained. Like if a carton of milk or yogurt or a box of cereal got smaller and smaller as its items diminished, you'd have a major quality of life improvement on your hands. Anyway, I'm not sure what the prospects are for this in the retail space, but on the industrial end, there's work being done on lean packaging. Came across this VC funding the other day:
Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, Packsize is the world's leading provider of lean packaging solutions for businesses with complex corrugated packaging needs. Packsize was founded in Northern Europe and first introduced the concept of Right-Sized Packaging On Demand. The Packsize system delivers an alternative to the existing corrugated supply chain by eliminating the need for large inventories of pre-ordered cardboard boxes, reducing the "footprint" of the packaging process, and trimming labor required for boxing and shipping.
I wonder if there are any lean VC funds out there -- as in, funds specifically focused on investments in lean manufacturing.