Packaging has a number of functions: It carries branding, and health and safety information. It protects the product from external damage and it holds multiple contents together. In some cases, packaging can be minimised. For example, tea bags can be convenient but the tea’s the really important part. If you use loose leaf tea with an infuser all the packaging in the tea bags is unnecessary.
Strong and lightweight packaging that stacks well can minimize volumes that need to be transported. This reduces the number of trucks and amount of fuel needed.
The ‘Lean+Green’ wine bottles are between 18% and 28% lighter than traditional wine bottles. Designers have cleverly maintained appearances, but subtly reduced the bottle’s diameter, shoulder and punt height.
Making the wine bottles lighter has reduced their carbon and water footprint, making them easier, and cheaper, to transport.
Based on 2010 production levels, this redesign could save 20,000 tonnes of glass packaging a year and reduce energy use by 20%.
The Lean+Green bottle design can allow 840 more bottles to be packed into a 20ft shipping container – an efficiency increase of 6.25%.
This tricycle is robust so it needs minimal packaging. Its cardboard wrap carries instructions for use and safety information, together with a marketing graphic.
The Powerhouse Museum has collected examples of design for more than 130 years. This database shows how some items in its collection meet one or more criteria for design for the environment.
Sustainable design database topics:
Designed for easy reuse
Designed for energy efficiency
Designed for service substitution
Designed to be degradable
Designed to last
Designed to minimise packaging
Designed to use recycled materials
Designed to use renewable resources
Designed to use waste by-products