Puma has come up with a new method of bagging up their footwear, with a neat packaging innovation that reduces the paper required for shoeboxes by 65 percent and is expected to lower the company's carbon emissions by 10,000 tons a year.

The 'Clever Little Bag' is a re-usable shoe bag designed to protect each pair of shoes as it makes its way from manufacturer to market, replacing the chunky cardboard boxes normally used in the footwear industry with a recycled plastic outer and a single piece of cardboard inserted to hold the shoes in place.

The new bag is part of Puma's drive to lower water, energy and diesel consumption. The sportswear firm is also looking to make similar savings in other areas, with simple and effective solutions that cut both carbon emissions and internal costs.

Swiss product designer Yves Behar, one of the chief creatives behind the award-winning One Laptop Per Child project and also came up with the distinctive Jawbone bluetooth earpiece, worked with Puma on the new packaging concept.

Known for his optimistic stance on the future and commitment to sustainability, he described the problem of excessive packaging as "one of the most challenging issues facing the retail industry in regards to sustainability and environmental harm," and said that he hoped the new design would encourage other retail companies to re-consider their approach to packaging and distribution.

The initiative is part of a company-wide sustainability program which has also seen the introduction of smaller, biodegradable bags for that reduces packaging by 45 percent.

Though this may not be the first time a shoe manufacturer re-evaluated their approach to packaging - Brooks has been running a year-on-year shoebox redesign program, and Newton Running came up with a box molded to the shape of their shoes - but Puma's size and renown makes this a significant step in the right direction.