DS Smith, university students collaborate on sustainable packaging

Written by: Maddie Ballard | Published:
Four groups of students were selected to develop their ideas around supporting recycling in an e-commerce age

Packaging giant DS Smith is working with product design students at Cardiff Metropolitan University to combat household recycling challenges as packaging waste streams grow in the UK.

Product design students were set a brief to turn the final point of delivery for e-commerce into the first stage of recycling - helping to keep corrugated cardboard packaging in the supply cycle for longer.

Around 1.9 billion parcels are delivered every year in the UK, the third highest figure in the world.

As a result, the amount of packaging entering consumer waste streams is on the rise, putting pressure on recycling infrastructure.

Four groups of students were selected from a wider pool in February to develop their ideas around supporting recycling in an e-commerce age, taking into account the role of technology, social media, and the supply chain.

They will present digitally to the judging panel from DS Smith and Cardiff Metropolitan later in the year.

The winning concept will be fostered by DS Smith’s research and development facility.

Tom Campbell-White, European strategic development director for DS Smith, said: “While it’s true that the recycling rates for paper-based packaging are the highest [among total recycling] at 79%, we cannot afford to be complacent.

“With changing consumer shopping habits, meaning more boxes at home, and recycling infrastructures already under pressure, we need to make sure we are all well-equipped to deal with the challenges ahead.

“So, for us it was a great opportunity to engage with bright minds at a world-class university and bring new thinking into our business.

“It’s been really inspiring.”

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