Circular Design And The National Packaging Targets

Supervisor: Dr Mariano Ramirez

In 2018, Australia’s environment ministers agreed to establish a sustainable path for Australia’s recyclable waste. A historic target was announced to make 100% of packaging in Australia reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. Three additional targets were endorsed by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organization: by 2025, 70% of plastic packaging should be recycled or composted; all packaging should have an average of 30% recycled content; and all problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic packaging should be phased out through redesign, innovation or alternative delivery methods. These rules encompass all packaging made, used or sold in Australia, including business and imported packaging. The National Packaging Targets present an excellent opportunity for industrial designers to apply strategic principles of ‘design for circular economy’ and ‘design for collaborative consumption’ to address these new schemes in the packaging industry.

This ID Honours research stream on Circular Design and the National Packaging Targets will support project proposals from students along the lines of:

  • reusable, refillable or returnable packaging containers supported by a product-service system

  • alternative delivery systems that minimize use of materials, energy and resources

  • novel whole-system approaches for eliminating ‘problematic’ and unnecessary one-way packaging

  • rethinking the existing packaging for fast-moving consumer goods

  • applying the ‘fun theory’ to nudge and influence consumers’ behaviour in responsible disposal and litter prevention

  • efficient and reusable shelf-ready distribution packaging

  • refill systems and bulk dispensaries in high-density dwellings and supermarkets

  • optimizing packaging lifetimes by designing in a ‘second life’

View Presentation Slides >


APCO. 201X. Sustainable Packaging Guidelines. Australian Packaging Covenant Org.

OpenIDEO. 2017. Circular Design Challenge: Use Cases and Personas.

SPC. 2006. Design guideline for sustainable packaging. Sustainable Packaging Coalition.