Getting things delivered has never been more convenient. With just a few clicks, you can have a new bottle of shampoo sitting outside your door the next day, or that cool T-shirt you’ve been eyeing on Etsy. But when those items arrive at your door, there’s a good chance they’ll be in a too-big box, stuffed with lots of wasteful packaging filler. That’s why the Minnesota-based materials company 3M is releasing a new type of packaging that requires no tape and no filler, and it can be customized to fit any object under 3 pounds—which 3M says accounts for about 60% of all items that are bought online and shipped. 3M claims that the material, called the Flex & Seal Shipping Roll , can reduce time spent packing, the amount of packaging materials, and the space needed to ship packages. [Image: 3M] The roll is made out of three layers of different plastics that 3M developed, including a gray, internal adhesive layer that sticks to itself (you’ll see why in a moment). There’s also a middle cushioning layer that seems similar to bubble wrap to protect items during shipping, and a tougher outside layer that is tear- and water-resistant. […]

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