Ecobrickable Packaging & Product Design
A simple step for a profound business shift
There’s no need to wait for tomorrow’s technologies or materials. Ecobrickable Product & Packaging Design enables companies to start their plastic transition today. It starts with a simple yet profound shift from linear to to circular thinking…
The majority of today’s products are manufactured without thought to where they will go once consumed. Many products are even designed to fail within a certain period to promote further consumption. This design ethic (or lack of it) is one of the root causes of plastic pollution. Learning from the ecologies around us, the first step is to shift from linear consumption design (and dead-end plastic products) to cradle-to-cradle, circular design. Afterall, plastic isn’t a ‘bad’ material in and of itself– its how we’ve been putting it to use that has been causing problems. Designing a product as Ecobrickable, and clearly designating it as so, can be a giant leap for a company into the brave new world of circular design and regenerative business. The GEA has developed guidelines and a designator symbol to assist companies in their plastic transition.
Circles & Cycles
The Earth’s biosphere operates in perfect cycles of localized re-use. From a tree’s leaves to the tree itself, every ecological element finds a new life at its end. The fallen leaf helps the next tree grow– all within a few square meters. In this way, ecologies operate in infinite cirlces of re-purposed utility, with every element re-cyclable within its surrounding ecology in a way that enriches and greens.
We can learn from this! We can design similar cradle-to-cradle circles of utility that enrich local ecologies. In this way, we can plan for the end of our products and packages. When a product comes to its end, it can then begin its new journey, in its new form.
For many companies making the switch to circular design and extended producer responsibility (EPR) appears to require a massive investment in manufacturing, material sourcing as well as implementing new systems to reabsorb their dead products. Furthermore it may seem that the required organic materials are still on the horizon. The transition can appear daunting!
Making a product ecobrickable is a first step in a business’s plastic transition.
With a little forethought and advanced planning, a product can be made easily and effectively ecobrickable. In this way, ecobrickable designs enables companies and designers to make their first step to cradle-to-cradle and ayyew vision. Designating a product or package as ecobrickable gives it a next life and purpose. When ecobricked, the plastic is saved from a fate of industrial recycling, incineration, and/or dumping. The ecobricked plastic is transformed into a reusable building block. Ecobricks and their applications are themselves cradle-to-cradle and follow regenerative principles, enabling an indefinite, localized cycle of reuse of the ecobricked plastic.
Ecobrickable Design Guidelines
The GEA has established simple guidelines to follow when making your product of packaging ecobrickable. Following these guidelines is important should you wish to use the Ecobrickable Designator Symbol.
Your product or packaging must…
- … not contain substances that will corrode PET plastic over time.
- … not contain any primary or secondary biodegradable material.
- … can be easily disassembled, broken or cut into parts that can fit within the 22mm diameter neck of a standard PET bottle.
- .. maximizes the ease of disassembly for this purpose.
- … not have sharp protrusions that could puncture an ecobrick from within while it is being packed down.
- … not contain reactive chemicals, or if so, these components are clearly marked as un-ecobrickable.
The GEA Ecobrickable Designator Kit (EDK)
The GEA Ecobrickable Designator Symbol is for use on plastic products or packaging to indicate that it can be transformed into an ecobrick. To use the symbol the plastic must meet the Ecobrickable Design Guidelines above. The symbol is available in the Ecobrickable Designator Kit (EDK) which includes the vector files, sticker designs, fonts, example photos, user license and the full details of our Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. The EDK and usage license is now available for purchase on the GoBrik Shop. You may also register for the GEA Catalyst Program which includes both the EDK and our powerful PTR tracking dashboard and which tracks all the ecobricked plastic catalyzed by your company’s social action.
Ecobrickable Product Gallery
Get the Designator Kit
Transition your company's product to circular principles by applying Ecobrickable Design. The Designator File Kit will get you started!
The GEA Catalyst Program eanables companies large and small to take their Green Business to a whole new level!