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Less is More: Design Context

Packaging is important because it:

• protects products – how would you stop eggs from breaking if they weren’t in a box?
• helps to sell products – would those sweets look as tempting if they were sold loose?
• provides information about products – from ingredients and use by dates to instructions and safety warnings.

Yet from an environmental point of view, packaging poses huge problems. How many of you have unwrapped your Easter eggs and filled a bin liner with rubbish? In the UK, we throw away 30 million tonnes of household waste each year, a large proportion of which is packaging from supermarkets and convenience stores.

Recognising the problem, Environment Minster Elliot Morley has launched a new £8 million fund to encourage companies to develop ‘environmentally-smart’ retail packaging design. By reducing the amount of materials used and encouraging packaging designers to look at new materials, the scheme hopes to reduce the amount of packaging waste.

Design Brief

Can you work towards this target? Redesign a familiar product so that it has less (and more sustainable) packaging.


Specification, Design, CAD (computer aided design), Wood, Mass, Ergonomics, Aesthetic, Manufacture, Materials, Tools, Process, Glue



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Practical Action - Technology challenging povertyEuropean Commission - Department for International Development

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