Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Thinking About The Box

Date:
October 28, 2009
Source:
Delft University of Technology
Summary:
By re-thinking ideas about packaging size and shape, major environmental gains can be made. Smaller-sized, more easily handled boxes require less goods transport. Focusing on size will get us further than the usual preoccupation with recycling packaging materials.

By re-thinking ideas about packaging size and shape, major environmental gains can be made. Smaller-sized, more easily handled boxes require less goods transport. Focusing on size will get us further than the usual preoccupation with recycling packaging materials. This is the idea proposed by Renee Wever, who will defend his thesis on this topic at Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands) on Monday 5 October.

Size does matter

The Dutch packaging industry alone concerns billions of euros annually. More cleverly designed packaging options could save significant amounts, suggests researcher Renee Wever of the TU Delft Faculty of Industrial Design. According to him, there are also considerable environmental benefits to be achieved, though by focusing on different aspects than usual. Wever notes, ‘In thinking about packaging and the environment, most people exclusively consider the amount of material used, and waste material produced. This is what people try to reduce. But my study reveals that true gains can be made by concentrating on the transport aspect – namely by choosing smaller-size packaging and/or a more easily stackable shape. This allows more products to be placed in a container or truck, significantly reducing transport costs and the associated impact on the environment.’

Paying attention to the shelves

‘The thing is to make a solid, integral assessment in the packaging design phase. Marketing considerations sometimes lead to large, flashy boxes. People think this will help draw huge attention to their product on the shelves, and distinguish them from the competition, leading to better sales. If you then calculate that maybe as much as 1 euro per product could be saved in transport costs by choosing a slightly smaller and/or handier packaging size, now, that attracts some serious attention. One euro savings on the cost side is already extremely interesting for some products.’

Electronics

Wever specifically targeted consumer electronics, such as TV sets, and performed research at companies including Philips. Supplemental research further supported his conclusions about packaging, showing they also roughly applied to other consumer goods, such as toys and furniture.

‘In general, you could say that companies have paid too little attention, or too late, to their packaging. It is remarkable, given the enormous sums of money involved. In my opinion there is a real need for specialised packaging designers. These experts should understand design and styling as well as the underlying technical packaging and distribution aspects. Such people are now quite few and far between.’


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Delft University of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Delft University of Technology. "Thinking About The Box." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091001095606.htm>.
Delft University of Technology. (2009, October 28). Thinking About The Box. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091001095606.htm
Delft University of Technology. "Thinking About The Box." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091001095606.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Reuters - US Online Video (July 29, 2014) Passengers stuck overnight on a whale watching boat return safely to Boston. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

AFP (July 29, 2014) Coal mining is one of the major industries in Baluchistan but a lack of infrastructure and frequent accidents mean that the area has yet to hit its potential. Duration: 01:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

AP (July 29, 2014) The U.S. nuclear industry started building its first new plants using prefabricated Lego-like blocks meant to save time and prevent the cost overruns that crippled the sector decades ago. So far, it's not working. (July 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins