'Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design.'

Charles Eames

'To design is to communicate clearly by whatever means you can control or master.'
Milton Glaser

Recycling and Renewables

Recycling Symbols
There is a wide range of symbols used to show
the environmental make-up of a product and its


● Some show the amounts of recycledmaterials used
and the treatment processes involved.


● Others help remind users to dispose of the product
and its packaging in the most effective way.
These symbols are often coloured green.

Paper and Wood

Paper and wood are made from trees. In many parts of the world forests are being destroyed. This is known as deforestation. A high percentage of paper and wood can be used again if recycled, reducing the number of trees that need to be cut down. It is also important to ensure new trees are grown to replace the ones cut down through the use of sustainable forests.


● a product may be made with a high
proportion of materials that cannot
be replaced, or use chemicals that
pollute the atmosphere. This can
also be harmful to wildlife and
cause changes to weather patterns
and the land.

● some production processes use high
levels of non-renewable energy.

Plastics and Metals
Plastics are made from oil and metals are mined from the
earth. There are only limited supplies of oil and metal.
The amounts of plastic and metal used in a product need
to be reduced to the minimum. Some plastics and metals
can be recycled.

This is used across Europe to show the use of environmentally friendly packaging.

Activity 1 - Considering environmental issues

Recycling Symbols



The photograph on the left shows a household cleaning product.


Suggest threeways in which the manufacturer might have taken environmental issues intoconsideration in the design of the container.

6 points


Explain two ways in which biodegradable packaging is benificial to the consumer, give examples for each.

4 points

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© Julian Kupper