Product designers need to retreat from “the Pringles factor” in order to make their packaging more recyclable, an environmental expert has said.
Simon Ellin, the chief executive of the Recycling Association, which represents recyclers, pointed to the snack tube as a prime example of the failure to consider recycling in design – and listed a range of other offenders from Lucozade Sport drinks to whisky packaging.
He spoke as round-the-world sailor Dame Ellen MacArthur launched a $2m (£1.5m) competition to reduce plastic waste and target the 30% of plastic packaging that cannot be recycled because of the way it is constructed.
Straws, shampoo sachets, crisp packets, coffee cup lids and food wrappers were all picked out by MacArthur as products that either could not be recycled because of the multiple layers of materials used, or were not traditionally recycled.
Ellin said the biggest problems came when multiple materials were used in the same packaging. In the case of Pringles, Ellin said: “What idiot designed this in terms of recyclability? We’ve got a cardboard tube, a metal bottom, a plastic lid.
The UK’s largest coffee chain Costa Coffee is to launch a recycling scheme in all of its stores to ensure that as many as possible of its own takeaway cups – and those from its competitors – are recycled. In a move designed to reduce the millions of used disposable cups that end up in landfill, the chain’s customers will be encouraged to leave or return them to a Costa store, where they will be stored on a bespoke rack. Costa’s waste partner, Veolia, will transport them to specialist waste processing plants which have the capacity to recycle takeaway coffee cups – potentially as many as 30m a year from Costa alone.
News via The Guardian of a new Kickstarter campaign to tackle poor representation of girls/women in STEM subjects (or rather STEAM – they quite rightly include the arts where they belong, alongside the other disciplines).
“In kids cartoons, 0% of princesses are engineers, 2.9% of characters are black, and Batman doesn’t recycle. And kids spend up to 9 hours in front of screens seeing this stuff everyday,” explains Detective Dot’s Kickstarter pitch. “We’re obsessed with buying stuff but we don’t know how it’s made or who made it. Kids media is heavily stereotyped. Children, particularly girls and minorities, need positive role models in engineering, science, technology, arts and maths.”
Adidas has teamed up with Parley for the Oceans — a movement aimed at eliminating the plastic waste that ends up in our seas — to create a new 3D-printed sneaker concept. The design consists of an upper made from “ocean plastic content” and a 3D-printed midsole made from recycled polyester and fishing nets. Adidas says the shoe “stands for how we can set new industry standards,” but unfortunately it’s just a prototype for now — don’t expect to see it in stores any time soon.
Epson has developed what it says is the first ever in-office paper recycling machine. You feed used documents into one end of the PaperLab, and out the other comes clean, white, printable sheets. It’s speedy too, churning out 14 A4 sheets every minute (that’s 6,720 sheets in an eight-hour work day), and can even produce different varieties of paper, including A3 sheets, thicker paper for business cards, colored stock, and “scented paper.” And because the recycling process involves breaking down waste sheets into paper fibers, Epson says it’s a secure way of destroying confidential documents