DS Smith Launches Circular Design Principles


Sustainable packaging leader DS Smith is launching its all-new circular design principles as they reveal new research that shows there is a “desperate need” for cohesive design to help eliminate the confusion in recycling products. packaging.

The principles were developed in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and were created to help companies design the reuse and recyclability of their packaging. waste.

In fact, 83% said they were not clear what types of packaging can and cannot be recycled. In total, 56% of Britons cited unclear packaging information as the reason they were unsure whether or not to recycle packaging.

By introducing this set of principles, we can design for recyclability, design waste and pollution, create packaging suitable for a circular economy, and facilitate labeling to help consumers recycle more.

Stefano Rossi, CEO of Packaging at DS Smith, commented: “There is an undeniable public desire to help tackle the climate crisis, but a lot of packaging is still not recyclable, and people don’t know. not which packaging goes in which bin.

“We launched our circular design principles to help businesses scale to meet the needs of the public. By introducing this set of principles, we can design for recyclability, design waste and pollution, create packaging suitable for a circular economy, and facilitate labeling to help consumers recycle more.

This confusion has a ripple effect outside of consumer awareness and the immediate environmental impact: recyclable products going to landfill could cost the economy up to £ 95million each year.

DS Smith hopes that its circular design principles can help end the confusion behind this behavior and support its customers and other members of the packaging industry in their transition to a circular economy.

The principles

The Principles were developed to eliminate waste and pollution, keep products and materials in service, and regenerate natural systems. A circular economy model benefits the environment and can stimulate the growth of the packaging industry.

DS Smith’s five circular design principles are:

  1. We protect brands and products – Designers should always ensure that the packaging successfully protects its product. Products damaged due to improper packaging have an economic and environmental impact
  2. We don’t use more materials than necessary – Optimized use of packaging materials saves resources and reduces waste
  3. We design for the efficiency of the supply cycle – Our designers improve efficiency by changing the arrangement of products in boxes to stack them in delivery vehicles
  4. We keep the packaging materials in service – We eliminate waste by keeping packaging products in service as long as possible. We can ‘close the loop’ for customers in 14 days by recycling packaging into new products
  5. We find a better way – We give our designers the means to question the status quo and support customers in the search for a circular economy

Other research results have shown that 44% of Britons find plastic the most confusing product to recycle, 56% saying that packaging and products that can be recycled more easily would help increase recycling, and 57 % believing that clearer labeling on products would also help increase recycling rates.


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