Eliminating the Nice, But Not Necessary

As I prepared to enjoy my mid-afternoon snack today (a small carton of yogurt) I was reminded that only two years ago this container with a foil top would have also had an additional plastic lid.

While that lid may have once been seen as valuable or necessary, over time it became just wasteful. When eliminating its lids in 2005, Dannon estimated that 3.6 million pounds of plastic per year would be saved.

Eliminating the lid might have required some changes in how yogurt was shipped to suppliers, but even if it did, this modification is more environmentally more sensitive and cost-wise more intelligent.

Every organization has some product or service with components that are nice, but not really necessary. Eliminating them can reduce cost and waste and provide a better-designed form for the end user.

What's the equivalent of the yogurt lid in your organization? What could be eliminated without any reduction in value?