Ted Ten- Design To Minimise Waste

Looking more closely at this strategy introduced me to more statistics which I found shocking. 10,000 items of clothing go to landfill every 5 minutes in the UK alone. Once in landfill, these items are useless. Having started to look into the many ways in which clothing, intact all items can be re used or recycled, it seems like such a devastating waste that the potential of all that material is lost. I also found it worrying that despite the increase in recycling in the past decade, it is still predicted that by 2020 we could be sending 45% more waste to landfill than we were in 1995. This can’t happen. One poignant point for me was when we “throw things out”, we are really only throwing them out of our way. They still exist in a hole in the ground, not going anywhere.

Design to minimise waste involves being creative and innovative in the ways we design products, and considering the life cycle of that product during the design stage. Some examples include;- Slow design, design for long life and short life applications, design with enhanced aesthetic value, and zero waste production.

Reference: “Design to minimise waste” lecture

The following images represent these ideas put in to practice, and are a couple of my favourite ideas from those that were shown in the lecture. Image

It is too easy to overlook the tiny things we do and use every day, thinking that they are too small to matter. Fruit and vegetable stickers are a prime example of this. I have never even considered them before, but thinking about it, there is the production of the glue, the plastic, the inks to printthe logos, the energy used to power all the machinery to make these stickers…and thinking of how many products use these stickers, and the continuous enormous consumption of such foods adds up to a staggering amount of waste over the years and decades. For this reason, I love the simplicity of this idea for laser or tattoo labels.

References: – “Design to minimise waste” Lecture, Laser Food, Laser Tattoo Labels (2009-2013)

– 2/11/2013, http://natashachelseawork.wordpress.com/page/2/, website


Designer Keiren Jones created “The Chicken Factory” in which he found as many uses as possible for a single chicken. His outcomes include a chicken curry, a chicken leather jacket and bone china egg cups. His factory was even made from recycled materials. I liked this project because it takes one object and makes the most of every last bit of it. There are so many things that we use and dispose of without even considering how the remains could be useful to us. I have always hated throwing away glass bottles for example, some a very beautiful objects, and otherwise a fair amount of glass. I’d like to start questioning how far I can push each material that I use, and think creatively about it’s properties and how they might be enhanced or altered to meet need.  This link goes to a talk by Kieren about the project: http://vimeo.com/38987222

References: – “Design to minimise waste” Lecture,  Kieren Jones, The Chicken Project (2011)

– 2/11/2013,  http://www.dezeen.com/2012/03/22/the-chicken-project-by-kieren-jones/, website