Today for lunch, I enjoyed a nice cup of Yoplait yogurt. After I'd finished, I happened to read the package (something I often do). I found a bit of text in red letters on the back of the cup:
CRUSH THIS CONTAINER BEFORE DISPOSAL
I thought about this for a moment and said to myself "Hey, what a great gesture by Yoplait. Being a good corporate citizen and all that."
But, after thinking about it and considering the industrial design of the container a little longer, I actually got a bit angry. Why?
Well, the reason a Yoplait yogurt container is more dangerous for animals is that the opening is smaller than the base of the cup, so if an animal tries to lick the yogurt inside it, their head can get stuck.
So, here's Yoplait, telling me its my responsibility to crush the container so an animal can't get its head stuck inside? I don't mind crushing the cup before I recycle it, but that's not the point.
The point is, why doesn't Yoplait change the design and shape of their packaging, so it's like every other yogurt container (wider at the opening than the base) so it slides off an animal's head (should that situation arise)?
Funny how design can seem to be a surface or graphics issue, until you face something like this. Just goes to show that design is often critically important in more ways than just how something looks.