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PACKAGING - ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

V. Ryan 2004

 

Waste:
When designing a product and its packaging, it is important to ensure that there is minimum waste of materials (if possible, no waste at all).
Why:
1. When a company manufactures a design the materials used are often expensive. Any wasted materials means that the company is also wasting money. In a competitive world waste must be minimised.
2. If there is little waste of material then less material is needed to manufacture a design. This helps conserve the environment. For example, if a manufacturer of card packaging keeps waste to a minimum then less trees need to be cut down to provide the card.
3. Energy (electricity etc...) To drive machinery is needed to manufacture designs. If waste material is produced it means that energy has been wasted cutting, shaping or removing this useless material.
4. Recycle as much waste material as possible and use it again. This saves money and the protects the environment.

   

The cartoon character Ed the Handyman (opposite) is a disillusioned former Environmental Inspector. He ignores the environment and unfortunately is typical of many people today. He is unaware of the importance of recycling and throws his rubbish on the floor.

The newspaper he has just used to swat a fly is thrown on the floor. He could put it in a paper recycling bin. The can of beer he has finished drinking could be recycled for its aluminium but he prefers to kick it around.

Many types of paper, card, plastics and metals can be recycled and should be placed in recycling bins. This waste material can be collected, recycled and used again.

 
 
 

Recycling:
A designer should always consider using recycled materials. For example, recycled glass can be used for manufacturing new glass bottles. Aluminium cans can be recycled and used again. Card and paper can be recycled.
Why Recycle materials:
1. Recycling a material such as paper or card means that less trees need to be cut down to produce new paper and card.
2. Manufacturing card and paper directly from trees rather than recycling old card and paper uses more energy (electricity etc...)
3. Recycling materials means there is less waste.

   

 

   

What is a RENEWABLE material?
A good example of a renewable material is wood. Forests can be replanted and so wood can be grown replacing the wood that has been used by manufacturing industry.
Renewable materials are materials that can be reproduced / grown.

   

What is a NON-RENEWABLE material?
A good example of a non-renewable material is oil. Oil cannot be replaced because it takes millions of years for it to form below the surface of the earth. Once it has been used it is gone for ever.

   

QUESTIONS:
1. Design a logo for a company that designs and manufactures car air fresheners. The logo must reflect the efforts the company has put into using recycled materials and its positive approach to protecting the environment.

   

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