Reuse week 10 Critical Thinking

Why is it important for companies to manufacture environmentally friendly products?

It is important for companies to manufacture environmentally friendly products and be good corporate citizens. The reasons are, it would be good for the environment. It would also reduce landfills if companies could use recycled materials. Companies using recycled materials can enhance their branding and also promote their ideas through marketing. Consumers who are conscious of the environment would rather purchase products that are safe for the environment. 

A classic example is a company called, Total Recall that plays a small role towards reusing material, that wanted to create something that made a difference. As Rick Hennessey and Brad Hole “would receive a ton of custom printed, vinyl three ring binders that would be replaced every year with another new binder. No one knows what to do with an old three ring binder,” Hole said, its great if you can reuse it, but what happens when the cover tears or the ring bends? You end up having to toss the entire product.”

As a result the company, around four years ago developed the ring binder that features a removable cover made of recyclable, recycled corrugated cardboard.

As companies make the decision to work towards environmentally friendly manufacturing process, to change practices. Later on, the first aspect would be to look for environmentally friendly materials, were a unique part of the country have several sources to chose from, for example the purchase of corrugated cardboard locally, instead of shipping a higher recycled content material or lower priced material across the country. Since the fuel and energy it takes to ship is far sourced locally.

This is an opportunity to introduce the concept of using biodegradable household products that plays an important part in helping protect the environment. For example a couple of years ago cotton bags where introduced to replace plastic bags when purchasing goods at supermarkets. Another example is the usage of solar energy and wind power energy to reduce carbon emissions. 

So in relation to the reuse project, this links with looking at materials from a different perspective, where as designers we can see the potential in using industrial waste.

In our project we tested several materials to see if it had potential in using materials for our product development.

Reflecting back to the studio project, the resources we utilised, such as wood and aluminium cans, shows that waste can be reused effectively to produce beautiful works of art.

Overall in general some waste is unavoidable, no matter what companies recycle, there will always be bits and pieces to be discarded towards landfill. 

A quote that stood out to me during the process of the project was,

“One mans rubbish is another mans gold”


Raha Maria, 2007, Reuse-it, Business forms, labels and systems, volume 45. 


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