British Plastics Federation launch sustainable plastic packaging design database

The interactive Eco Design Guide hub collects sustainable design tools and guides from around the world, with the aim of helping make plastic usage more sustainable.

The British Plastics Federation (BPF) has launched an online platform featuring a searchable collection of sustainable design tools from around the world.

EcoDesignGuide.com aims to provide guidance to designers, manufacturers and retailers that are trying to work with plastic in a more sustainable way.

Plastic remains one of the most useful materials in designers’ arsenals, boasting longevity and hygiene among other attributes. But the material is incredibly harmful to the environment, with only 30% of plastic produced actually being recycled in the European Union, and approximately eight million pieces of plastic pollution finding its way to the world’s oceans every day.

“The website exists as a signposting tool”

The Eco Design Guide website is the BPF’s attempt at providing credible, reliable information for those looking to be more sustainable in their plastic usage.

“If you want to design plastic packaging that is more sustainable but you are not an expert in sustainability, it can be quite hard to know where to look to get good advice,” BPF marketing manager Alex Harris tells Design Week. “There are a lot of great tools and guides that give excellent technical advice but there are quite a few different ones and they are not always easy to find.”

The idea is to help designers and other interested parties see what is available, Harris adds. Each resource requires individuals to spend time reading and understanding what it has to offer.

“The website exists as an important signposting tool to allow users to locate the most valuable resources for them,” he says.

“Users can provide feedback”

To ensure the information is relevant, users of the site are able to narrow down the offering by way of different filters. These include options to search by specific plastic materials like PET and PVC, product uses like bottles, blister packs and films, and resource type, like interactive tools and guidebooks.

Packaging designers using the database begin by searching using these filters. According to what is input, the site provides a list of tools that can help, and users can then filter the list by region or country to further find relevant information.

Users can then click through to the website of the resource or read short summaries to compare between other options. A rating function has also been added, so users can review the helpfulness of any given resource.

“Users can provide feedback about what they found useful and what they didn’t and the preferred tools will receive higher rantings from users over time,” says Harris.

“Help designers appreciate the range available”

The list of resources to be found of the website will increase over time, Harris adds.

“One of the main aims is to help people involved in packaging design to understand that sustainable design tools can be very useful and to help them appreciate the range available.”

Designers can access the site here.

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