People’s Design Lab launched to identify and redesign wasteful products

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An example of excess packaging (Source: Zero Waste Europe)

Brussels — At the Festival Zero Waste in Paris, Zero Waste Europe announced the launch of the People’s Design Lab, an international project aimed at identifying and redesigning poorly designed and wasteful products and pave the way for a Circular Economy.

People’s design lab online platform is targeting products that break too early, that are not repairable, that are toxic, that are not recyclable or for any other reason are unfit for a Circular Economy. The People’s Design Lab enables citizens to take action in highlighting the problems and identifying the zero waste solutions.

The nomination stage of the People’s Design Lab will run from July 2nd to September 2nd and will identify some of the worst designed and most wasteful products. Next, two rounds of voting will choose the products that will be receive close attention in the redesign stage, in which solutions to wasteful design will be proposed.

During the third stage of the project „Redesign Workshops“ will be held across Europe and have opportunities for online participation, allowing a wide range of stakeholders (citizens, designers, entrepreneurs, public authorities, etc.) to have their say in how the products are redesigned for a zero waste future. After that, efforts will be made to turn these ideas into reality. This process will aim to tackle to the problem on both the legislative level and by directly engaging companies guilty of producing wasteful products.

Zero Waste Europe, Policy Officer Delphine Lévi Alvarès 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.”

Examples of badly designed products which have already been submitted include boiled eggs removed from their shells and repackaged in individually wrapped plastic containers, and iMac chargers which are prone to breaking sooner than expected.

The People’s Design Lab takes inspiration from the Little Museum of Bad Industrial Design in Italy, and ‘The People’s Design Lab UK’ where examples of bad design were identified by groups of citizens and attempts were made to redesign the products with zero waste alternatives.

More information on People’s Design Lab can be found under peoplesdesignlab.org

Source: Zero Waste Europe