Bring sustainability to one of the most used packaging
This project is one of my favorites that I did during college. The discipline was about sustainability, and the theme of the semester was about water waste.
In 2014, Sao Paulo faced its worst water crisis. The Cantareira system, responsible for 45% of Sao Paulo water supply, reached its worst levels in history. So our task was to design a solution that optimizes the use of water and avoid its waste.
During our research, we found out that it was really difficult to recycle the Tetra Brik package, and that this process involves a huge water waste. Thus, we faced the challenge to redesign it to become easier to recycle.
An innovative package made of cardboard and bioplastic that the materials come already separated, making easier the recycling process.
Our project was published on many websites about design and innovation such as Fast Company. Many companies came to us willing to implement our solution and to use our package in their business, but after a lot of talks and negotiations, we found really hard to continue developing it and spending time on this project.
So our package never came into production, however, it was a great experience for us to get in touch with all these people and companies.
The first step was to identify a problem to solve that is related to water waste. After doing some research and brainstorming, we came up with the problem of recycling.
As people throw away tons of trash every day, the best way to avoid all this waste is recycling. However, recycling is not as easy as it seems, especially milk packaging. They are made by six layers of different materials, and to recycle it's necessary different processes just to separate the materials - and all this process involves water waste.
With a well-defined challenge, we started exploring different ideas to solve the problem. We explored many sketches and rough prototypes to come up with our final design - which we called Re-Pack.
Re-Pack is a solution to avoid all these waste to separate materials, thus making recycling easier and faster.
It's made of cardboard for sustenance and flexible cornstarch bioplastic, and they are already separated - all you have to do is to open the cardboard and fit the plastic package into it. During discard, the user can separate the materials by himself. The flexible bioplastic uses 70% less plastic than conventional rigid plastic packages.
It comes with 4 flexible plastic packages and 1 cardboard package, saving the paper production. Nowadays, people live in smaller apartments, with less space for storage, so they go more often to the market. In this way, the package is thought for rapid consumption, with 700 ml of milk in each package.