Refillable packaging systems: design considerations
online resourceposted on 14.06.2006, 17:40 by Vicky LofthouseVicky Lofthouse, Tracy Bhamra
For a number of years it has been widely recognised by governments and industry that current human activities degrade the environment and cause serious negative consequences for human population’s [Brundtland, 1987] and as such we need to identify more sustainable patterns of development. A reduction of the environmental impact of human activities by “factor 10” is now recognised as a key target [Simon, 1997]. Considerable research has been carried out to understand how socially and environmentally responsible behaviours can be integrated into the product development process. During the early 1990’s ‘green design’ was the main focus for improvements of this nature, i.e. design which focuses on single issues, such as the use of recycled materials. As understanding progressed green design was superseded by ‘ecodesign’, recognised as being a more holistic approach which tackles environmental issues at all stages of a product’s life cycle and encourages designers to think about new ways of doing things. Sustainable Design goes beyond the consideration of environmental issues and also recognises the importance of social and ethical issues in design. Literature in this field indicates that considerable and progressive body of research concerning the integration of sustainable design principles into product development exists [Fussler and James, 1996; Stevels, 1996], however there is very little evidence to indicate similar work existing in the field of packaging.