Anny Follesøy
Bergen, Norway

The Packaging Lab
Type: Packaging design and strategy plan
Design by: Anny Follesøy
Photo by: Leonardo Guerra, Anny Follesøy
Year: 2023
The Packaging Lab is an initiative that works with idea development for future packaging solutions.

Packaging plays a crucial role in our relationship with food and how we consume it. However, packaging design has gained a somewhat undeserved reputation, associated with overconsumption driven by commercial interests. But does it have to be this way?

I have a strong passion for packaging design and have spent years collecting various packaging types, analyzing their similarities, differences, and effectiveness. As designers, we hold significant influence, and I aim to use this power and my expertise to benefit others. The project title, 'The Packaging Lab,' reflects my approach towards my methods and work.

My master's thesis, 'The Packaging Lab,' is closely aligned with UN Sustainable Development Goals 12 and 13, which has led to my delight in receiving a scholarship from 'UiB's Climate Fund.' Within my research, I have developed a comprehensive strategy and implementation plan aimed at empowering individuals to make climate-friendly choices and mitigate the impacts of climate change wherever possible.

Lab experiments
Edible material for dry goods packaging
An exploration that challenges materials, in the form of bioplastic experiments with the goal of creating an edible material that can be consumed or disappear after use.

I tested various compositions and eventually developed a stretchy, transparent material that can be colored using fruit and vegetable extracts. By laser engraving an acrylic sheet, I successfully incorporated text and graphics into the material with varying results.

The material is made only by edible ingredients, ensuring they are safe and enjoyable to consume, for both humans and animals. The material can be debossed or embossed through a curing plate, allowing graphics to be added. Colored by surplus vegetables.

Problem statement
How can design help to inform and inspire consumers towards sustainable packaging solutions?

Main focus
My thesis focuses on the three core elements that define packaging: materiality, system, and usage.

Packaging design
Designing for reuse
To design effective packaging solutions, one must consider the needs of the consumer as well as the needs of the planet. In my design process, I focus on aesthetics, functionality, environmental impact, and positive user experiences. This has resulted in a reusable packaging solution.

Creating a versatile, neutral packaging design allows for diverse uses and appeals to a wide audience. This key strategy promotes durability, making it easier to reach more consumers as they can customize it to suit their individual lifestyles.

Labels placed in a side pocket of the packaging serve a dual purpose - informing about the product while communicating The Packaging Lab's identity. The initiative aims to be a playful and creative space for idea development, reflected in the use of vibrant and playful colors in the labels, tone of voice and photography style. These colors also appeal to our senses and stimulate appetites, aiming to spread positive energy and inspiration.

Expressive pins for personalizing the packaging, and informative labels that provide product information, are both tools that facilitate easier reuse of the packaging. The labels also serve as a vital communication platform for various producers and brands to leave their mark on their products. The stand beneath the dispensers and the metal holes in the packaging are designed with accessibility in mind, making it easier for elderly individuals or people with disabilities to handle.

System and accessibility
Not everyone has the privilege of living near two zero waste grocery stores. So, how can we enhance the accessibility of this shopping method, in both rural and urban areas?

I have explored the system surrounding the use of this packaging and how to make it accessible to as many people as possible. In this context, I have presented a potential system where one can shop for dry goods similar to buying a soda or a bag of chips on the go - a vending machine for dry goods.

With a vending machine, you reduce some of the fear surrounding bulk trade and cost. You get more control over the amount of product and the price. Pay first →  It is filled based on the selected quantity or price you choose.

The Packaging Lab presents three preliminary concepts. An edible material to reduce single-use plastic, a reusable packaging concept to promote a more circular economy, and a system for enabling zero-waste bulk shopping.

I believe this is just the beginning. The initiative has the potential to explore many more aspects of packaging and its environmental footprint. We still have much to learn, and it would be be an advantage be able to learn from one another.

For more information or to access the complete master's thesis, please feel free to contact me via email at

©2023 Anny Follesøy