#circular #humancentered

Packaging Design

Zero waste shops are gaining popularity all around the world. This is a successful concept to avoid single use plastic and to shop organic, regional and fairly traded products. To buy unpacked food you need preceding planning to bring your own containers, which can be an inconvenience, when you are on the go.

Fairpackung solves this problem. It is a circular deposit system with robust, light weight and easy to transport containers and bags, which can be borrowed at the store. This makes spontaneous shopping in bulk possible. Moreover, new target groups can be reached who are not participating in zero waste shopping yet.

How the system works

There are three container categories: food, cleaning agent and cosmetics. The fairboxes run in three recycling cycles due to different hygiene regulations. The customer chooses the size. The categories can be identified by color and an embossed printing, to make it accessible for visually impaired people. Signs with instructions and a colour code make the correct use clear. The lid, which is produced in one size that fits all, seals the box safe and leak-proof.
The standardised weight of the fairboxes makes the process of calculating the costs for customers and shop assistants much easier.

The fairboxes are injection moulded with PHB. The bioplastic is made of renewable resources and is biodegradable. The material resists temperatures up to 130° and is moreover 100% recyclable and food safe. The goal of research is to produce it from local waste and by-products of the food industry.

At the moment it is hardly possible to use the recyclate of the fairboxes for the production of new food containers. A solution could be to use the granulate of food boxes for the production of cleaning agent containers. This concept doesn’t meet the Cradle to Cradle idea but makes the realisation of the system realistic. Hopefully it will be possible in future to reuse the recyclate of mono-fraction material for food contact products. This could close the loop and makes a circular system for all fairboxes feasible.

In another version the fairboxes are for cleaning agents only. The recycled material could be easily reused for the production of new containers.

Handling in the shop

The shapes and sizes of the fairboxes are designed according to the shopping habits of the customers.
The product family grows! Besides the fairboxes complements fairbags made out of hemp fibre the deposit-system.

These prototypes are made of organic hemp from France and Romania. The bags are 100% compostable and running in the biological cycle of Cradle to Cradle concept. The fairboxes are made of a langlasting bioplastic and staying in the „technospehre“, the cycle of man made materials.

A "recycling code" at each fairbag and fairbox makes tracking possible. It is very important to control how often the packaging is used or recycled.

The prototypes are exclusively made for my graduation work. The design of the bags is inspired by piorrequipment.

You want to know more about the project? Follow fairpackung on Instagram and get to know all the research backgrunds.

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Jana Mordhorst
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