Sunday, July 22, 2012

REVIEW 1: How it’s made: Packaging and Giving packaging a new life

These short clips gave me an insight in the production of recycling materials and how most commercial products being produced with their packagings and containers are made out of materials that are recyclable.

Both How it’s made: Packaging and Giving packaging a new life videos produced factual information on common materials used in industry and how simple it is to consider these materials and their benefits to reduce the damage to our world. Having reference to materials of cardboard, tubing, tetrapak, aluminium, glass, plastic and tin are examples of materials that are recycled and indicate the significant different in energy and producing time saved in comparison to harvesting from raw materials.

Some interesting facts that were mentioned through the two videos were:

- Recycling: Trash is literally treasure, as each garbage truck delivers at least $100 worth of material and when the materials are separated and compressed its worth$200 for paper and 10 times more for the alumina. However organic substances can’t be recycled, so into landfill it goes, however, when they decompose methane gases are released that are harvested for factories.

- Cardboard Boxes: The cardboard box is made of recycled paper. The production of cardboard boxes involves minimal labour. It is intriguing as to how a machine can stack, fold, trimming, glue at a fast speed with quality control at hand. The scrap material is also recycled.

- Paper: Large percentage of paper produced is made up of 60% recycled. Cardboard, boxes and newspaper are entirely made from recycled paper and products such as tissues and toilet paper have 60% to 70% recycled paper within them.

- Packaging Tubes: They are formed using alumina which is affordable and malleable. Initially, the packaging comes in a form of slugs which are lubricated, passed into a die undergoing impact extrusion to form the tube. It was amazing how an industrial machine can do intricate details to the tip with no damage.

- Tetrapak: These products are bonded together (celsiose, polyethylene, aluminium) to create high graded paper fibres. Paper fragments are removed from the product and used in the production of premium recycled paper. Similarly with the aluminium and polypropylene it’s used in the production of cement. What is clever is that tetrapaks are recyclable, but it itself is constructed from recyclable materials.

- Aluminium: Aluminium never deteriorates through reprocess. It has a significant energy saving component only uses 1/20 of the energy in the production of new goods and any scrap of material is recycled so up to 87% aluminium is recycled thus benefiting the environment.

- Glass: It can be recycled endlessly as it made out of natural materials, whilst using the least amount of energy to recycle. In order to recycle glass it is sorted by colour due to the difficulties in recycling clear glass with coloured glass (over 10%), thus the glass undergoes a secondary sorting.

- Tin Plate: Tin makes up 40% of the steel slabs manufactured and 15000 steel slabs are solely made out of tin to produce a vast amount of tin cans. Tin cans can be recycled numerous times with no loss of its quality feature.

- Plastic: Half a million tonnes of plastic is recycled a year which is 2/3 of the quantity produced. In order to recycle, plastics are sorted heterogeneously or recycled as mixed plastics e.g. Window frames, profiles for window edges, pallets. These two processes are extensive with recycling plastic losing some of its physical properties. Feed Stock Recycling is using the chemical properties of the plastic to produce methanol gas which in turn is used in factories.

- BENEFIT: The advancement of technology has a great impact on the assortment of materials whereby an inferred light is able to detect and remove the not appropriate materials from process.

Thus it is evident that Industrial Designers having this knowledge of recycling allows for them to re think the way they approach design in terms of material choice, process and the sustainability of their product. There are added benefits to recycling especially how some materials don’t lose their properties through numerous reprocesses and that a lot of energy is saved through recycling.

The basic messages that came from viewing these series of clips were:

(a) Recycling the most material has its benefits in producing more products, whilst minimising the effect to the environment. Only some materials can retain their natural properties, thus operate effectively.

(b) Recycled material reproduce similar products, such as paper=paper, glass = glass etc, or go through a process in producing methanol or a replacement material.

(c) Trash is underestimated, whereby a lot of money is produced by collecting and sorting trash. The collection of alumina increases the price and value of material by 10 times.
If you are interested in watching these videos go to:

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