Amazon Just Made A Big Change To Its Boxes. Here's Why

People like to recycle their delivery boxes by doing different things with them. What, to us, might be just an additional box to store our stuff actually could be a car or a spaceship to an inventive child or a new place to nap for a curious cat. That's why we think it's cool that Amazon is launching a new line of more eco-friendly shipping boxes that also come with design instructions for different projects, allowing you to turn the box into the toy or pet accessory of your dreams. "We know customers love to get creative and reuse their Amazon packaging in a number of ways — this inspired us to create these new packaging designs that give customers an easy way to learn how we're making our packaging better," the company said in a new statement (via USA Today).

The packaging is part of the online behemoth's "Less Packaging, More Smiles" program, and another way to reuse what the American Forest & Paper Association calls an "old corrugated container." According to the organization, 92 percent of these types of boxes are recycled every year — and many are likely repurposed for storage, child, and pet purposes. 

Amazon's box change may have been inspired by Target

Amazon may have a less-than-altruistic reason for changing its box design — let's face it, you don't become a $1 trillion company just by considering your carbon footprint. More and more of us are buying things online (including groceries), which means retailers are having to find new ways to stand out. And they're doing it by getting super-creative with their packaging. Last year, Target upped the ante on its shipping boxes by featuring drawings of its mascot, a miniature bull terrier named Bullseye, doing fun things like driving the Target delivery van. Target's chief creative officer Todd Waterbury told Fast Company"The inspiration itself really came from our CEO Brian Cornell, it was a question he asked. 'We have these shipping boxes that show up in the homes of millions of our guests–could that be another way we represent our purpose ... in a new way?'"

"We think a lot about the power of design, and this is an example of how we're bringing the power of design into something that is as everyday as a cardboard box," Waterbury says. "But we've elevated it in a way that I think creates a smile and sense of playfulness." 

It seems both retailers are upping the cute quotient to give us even more reasons to recycle, and we're all for it.