2018 China Plastics Summit: Not necessarily designing for recycling

Date Published:3/19/2018 05:03:13 PM

Appealing to consumers remains the driving force in the shape, color and material choices of consumer product design.

Operators of material recovery facilities (MRFs) and other recycling plants continue to ask brand owners to keep recycling in mind when they design their products and packaging. Sustainability has become a factor, but the packaging design process continues to focus on consumer appeal, according to a presenter at a plastics industry conference hosted by Ringier Events in Shanghai in March 2018.

Huang Xiaojing of Shanghai-based design studio Yang Design, provided an overview of household and lifestyle consumer segments in China and worldwide that affect the way people buy consumer products ranging from beverages to furniture and automobiles.

Huang identified four lifestyle factions that have emerged and touched on the way these self-identifications influence purchasing decisions. The four lifestyles are:

  • Measured: People in this faction generally do not accumulate material goods in volume and prefer an uncluttered lifestyle with intermittent “elegant” touches. These consumers may opt for hand-crafted goods and are accepting of products with minimal packaging.

  • Fragile Romance: Pastel colors and shapely packaging appeals to people in this lifestyle, with shoppers who tend to be “sensitive to their environment and the seasons.” Huang showed a Taiwanese beer packaged in a custom bottle as the type of “subtle, translucent” packaging that can appeal to these buyers. Other packages shown by Huang as appealing to this sector included a blue glass beverage bottle and a plastic bottle with gradient coloring.

  • Wepublic: Bright coloring appeals to these youthful-minded consumers, according to Huang, who referred to “multi-dimensional” packaging that can include sparkles, bright colors and rainbows. Animation and the “video gamification” of packaging is part of this lifestyle, with Huang showing a Colgate toothpaste and floss package shaped like a video game controller. As electronics recyclers see increasing numbers of brightly colored plastic mobile phone covers, this is the demographic responsible.

  • Advanced Darkness: This faction of people gravitates toward space and futuristic themes, according to Huang, including the depiction of night skies and “faux mineral” appearances. Their cell phone cases and other personal effects are likely to be black, and when choosing a single-serve beverage from a cooler, they are likely tempted by those in dark cans or bottles.

While recyclers may pine for more uniformity in terms of what comes through their facilities, the research and design work performed by Yang Design and other studios will likely continue to lead to wide varieties to appeal to different tastes.

The Plastics & Rubber Processing Technology and Innovative Materials Application Summit 2018 was organized by Hong Kong-based Ringier Events and took place March 7-8 at the Shanghai Marriott Hotel Parkview.

Source: Recycling Today Media Group

Date Published: March 15, 2018

Author: Brian Taylor

URL: http://www.recyclingtodayglobal.com/article/ringier-china-plastics-summi...