Smarter food packaging design helps consumers sort waste better – Eurasia Review


Does the design of food packaging play a role in consumer sorting behavior? Yes, that’s what a new doctoral thesis, recently presented at the University of Borås, in Sweden, has shown. What is unique is that the research project starts from a user-centric perspective, that is, the consumer.

Babak Nemat, a researcher in the research field of resource recovery, concluded in his doctoral work that the design of the packaging itself can be a key element in encouraging consumers to correctly separate the different fractions that make up the packaging. ‘packaging.

“Packaging design can influence consumer sorting behavior and reduce sorting errors based on user and sustainable behavior. By communicating value, function and recyclability throughout the use phase of packaging, design has the potential to influence the consumer to sort correctly,” he said.

In the research project, he started from the importance of the shape, texture and color of the packaging, but he also concluded that the design of the packaging can be used to inform consumers about the recycling.

“Until now, research on food packaging waste management has mainly focused on how different materials can be recycled, while design has been reserved for the commercialization of the content itself. The interesting and novel thing to come out of my research project is that it is possible to increase the amount of recycled packaging materials and at the same time meet consumer and marketing demands.

The research project’s method – starting from the consumer’s point of view when designing packaging – is entirely new and has not been used in previous research on waste management.

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