Europe-wide redesign project seeks examples of wasteful products
Building on the work of The People’s Design Lab UK and taking inspiration from the Little Museum of Bad Industrial Design in Capannori in Italy, Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) set up the project to target products that are not suitable to support a circular economy for a variety of reasons, including because they break too early, are not repairable, are toxic, or are not recyclable.
The first stage of the People’s Design Lab runs from 2 July to 2 September and seeks to identify some of the worst designed and most wasteful products from across Europe. People from across Europe have been invited to nominate products that they have come across that they think create needless waste.
Products that have already been nominated include single-use coffee capsules, hard-boiled eggs that have been removed from their shells and repackaged in individually wrapped plastic and Apple chargers that break too easily.
Following the nominations, two rounds of voting will take place between 8 September and 16 September to decide the products that will receive close attention in the redesign stage, in which solutions to wasteful design will be proposed.
During the third stage, which will take place between the 22 September and 30 September ‘redesign workshops’ will be carried out across Europe. There will be the opportunity for online participation allowing for a wide variety of stakeholders (including citizens, designers, entrepreneurs and public authorities) to get involved and have their say in how the products should be redesigned for a zero waste future. ZWE says that efforts will then be made to turn these ideas into reality.
Examples of good design can also be nominated through the project, as ZWE acknowledges that ‘it isn’t always easy to design waste out of products, so we are also celebrating those designs that do’.
‘If we want to fix the problem, we have to focus on the source’
Commenting on the project, Delphine Lévi Alvarès, Policy Officer at ZWE, said: “Waste is just a symptom, if we want to fix the problem we have to focus on the source, creating a world where everything is designed for repair, reuse and recycling. The People’s Design Lab will facilitate the involvement of citizens in highlighting problematic design and finding creative and innovative solutions.”
More information can be found on the People’s Design Lab website, where you can also nominate products.