Design of circular plastic food packaging

1.6 billion Danish Kroners. That’s how much the Danish economy can save every year by a better utilization and recycling of plastic packaging. We undertook the task of finding out how.

Kirk, Hatch & Bloom
Kirk, Hatch and Bloom

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Challenge

World plastic production has doubled over the past 50 years, but recycling of plastic has not followed. In Denmark, we only recycle approx. 15% of the plastic waste from private households. It is far from enough. Therefore, there is a great potential for improvement with huge economic and environmental wins to follow.

“It is a key issue for the Danish Chamber of Commerce to support the Danish retail industry to convert their many different packagings into recyclable versions and to save materials without compromising functionality like the prevention of food waste and shelf life. This requires a targeted development and design effort and with steady hand Kirk, Hatch & Bloom has managed our joint value chain project and designed a proces approach and design guide that benefits the development of sustainable food packaging. We look forward to see this guide implemented and spread out to other packaging types as well.”

Jakob Lamm Zeuthen, Environmental Policy Director, Danish Chamber of Commerce

Process

Together with Amager Resource Center, GS1, Salling Group, Plus Pack, VE2 and Dansk Erhverv, in short the consortium named Rethink Plastic, we investigated how to best develop a common systemic solution that increases the recycling of plastic packaging and the recycling quality across the entire value chain. We did this through a mapping of plastic food packaging, by interviewing representatives from all links in the value chain, by facilitating workshops with users and experts, and by designing and testing prototypes and solution spaces.

Solution

Dogma rules, design principles and prototypes were presented at a conference at the Danish Chamber of Commerce with +140 representatives from the entire value chain. The tool is open source and shared via www.rethinkplastic.dk. Since its launch, over 80 companies such as Arla, Matas, Toms and Sanovo have downloaded the tool and their feedback is used to build the 2.0 version

Output

  • Mapping analysis of plastic packaging
  • Expert Interviews
  • User Workshops
  • Prototypes on circular plastic packaging
  • Report with strategic recommendations
  • Dogma Rules
  • Design guide for optimizing plastic

Outcome

Dogma rules, design principles and prototypes were presented at a conference at Danish Chamber of Commerce with +140 participants from the entire value chain. The tool is open source and shared via www.rethinkplastic.dk. Since its launch, over 80 companies such as Arla, Matas, Toms and Sanovo have downloaded the tool and their feedback is used to build the 2.0 version.

For more info contact: lotte@khbstudio.com

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Kirk, Hatch & Bloom
Kirk, Hatch and Bloom

We’re a Scandinavian design and innovation studio located in Copehagen and Vejle, Denmark. We build sustainable brand, products and services.