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The bright design that is good for the environment

Taken from the newspaper “Corriere Innovazione” on 11-2020 by Peppe Aquaro.

Having eliminated the waste from the packaging of LED bulbs
won LuceConcept the Conai Prevention Call.

Since 2013 Call collects, enhances and rewards financially measures to reduce the environmental impact of packaging.

It is open to all associate companies who revised their packaging towars innovation and environmental sustainability. To take part in the call, a simplified research is performed on environmental impact of the whole cycle of packaging, in fact one of the reasons to enter the call is to get a better benefit towards the environment.

The prize fund of 500.000 euros, 40.000 of which are incentives destined to the virtuous cases of circular innovation. In 2020 CONAI accepted and rewarded 160 cases, presented by 92 companies in a total of 289 cases applicant. Environmental-friendly lighting design.

From the “Corriere Innovazine” newspaper dated 11-2020 edited by Peppe Aquaro. Deleting waste form packaging of LED lamps made LuceConcept win the Conai Prevention Call. – On one hand physicist, on the other designer. Where one limits the other intervenes. It is the beauty of a company, “LuceConcept” in Osnago, Lecco – specialized in creating led lighting products – equally divided between calculations, creativity and aesthetic. It needs to be separated and stored in a special box. « We asked ourselves how to fit in a box a hundred “Genius” LED modules, but more importantly we wanted to delete all the waste of the previous packaging material: bubble bags, pieces of styrofoam» Marco Bosiso recalls, the physicist founder of the company and partner of both life and work, of the architect Francesca Beretta.

Looking for the solution, the company was coherent with its mission: «we cared about the realization of a double functioning support: packaging and gluing of the lense on the aluminium cylinder» the solution was a expanded polyethylene tray, the recyclability characteristics of which are the highest among plastics on the market. «Another important feature of this tray with a hundred holes is that it can be reused multiple times and never reaching the landfill».

Did they achieve the goal in the end? – they did and guaranteed saving of raw materials in a major load of products on pallet, but the project was rewarded for “circular innovation and re-use” in the latest edition, the last 12th of November, of the Prevention Call planned by National Packaging Consortium. Conai jury was impressed by three aspects: saving of raw material, re-use and optimization of logistics.

After the first winning participation of the Conai Call for Eco-Design of packaging in circular economy (289 submitted cases, 60 of which admitted) they will surely try again: «We are thinking about a battery lamp wrapped in a glass for which it would be necessary a customized packaging, but it would be trashed anyway», explains the company owner, and adds «We believe the solution can be found in the use of a blank carboard where we are going to find critical points».

Among four finalists and rewarded companies, besides projects of Geox and Hipac companies, there was Duracell too, a regular visitor of Prevention Call, and rewarded for deleting the previous packaging of the product, the plastic container that sealed batteries. «We were able to go from a plastic and paper packaging to a totally cardboard one», Marco Ferrari recalls, logistic director of Duracell for South Europe and in charge for environmental topics. «It was really important for us obtaining a 98% recyclable cardboard with grammage definitely lower than the previous one, which was 45gr per square meter» Ferrari adds. Two determinants that made possible the reduction of encumbrance (about 40%) and secondary packaging weight.

The actual “revolution” of new blister is represented by the arrangement of batteries: same quantity, but placed in a row and not on top of another: «by reducing encumbrance and packaging weight we were able to stack products on two overlapped pallets». Even in Duracell, we project ourselves in the future: «we would like to achieve, in a couple of years, the use of completely recyclable cardboard». Everything made in the name of Prevention. «upcoming business models cannot go from prevention if they want to be sustainable: during the design process of a packaging it is possible to identify the majority of environmental impacts».

«for this exact reason we continue promoting eco-design of packaging with our Call», Luca Ruini recalls, president of Conai, underlines that even a difficult year caused by medical emergency «Italian companies did not hesitate and applied nearly 20% of cases extra in relation to 2019».

Remaining in emergency topic, in our course of awarding finalists of Prevention Call, Conai presented the research “Developing Circular Economy by putting pressure on buying tendencies” commissioned to Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna. Basically by analyzing circular behaviour of customers we tried to identify how much the pandemic affected the same behaviour: results of the poll conducted on September 2020, then compared to research conducted during 2019 and February 2020, right before the previous lockdown.

What came up from the investigation which involved more than a thousand customers aged between 8 and 70 years, essentially four generations? Different and important considerations: from an increasing awareness of customers to environmental topics, to an increasing attention to recyclability. Perfect packaging? The recycled one (a great news). Not only 86% of interviewed are willing to pay a little more (for half of them even 10% more) and buying the most sustainable packaging possible.

There are three aspects that convinced the Conai jury: saving of raw materials, reuse and optimization of logistics. And if the appetite comes with eating, after the first winning participation in the Conai tender for the eco-design of packaging in the circular economy (which received 289 cases and i6o were those admitted), it is safe to bet that there they will try again: “We are thinking of a battery-powered lamp wrapped in glass, a pearl which would require customized packaging, but which would then inevitably be thrown away”, explains the owner of the company, who
he adds: «We believe that the solution can be found in the use of a
punched cardboard, of which we will identify the critical points ».

Among the four finalist and awarded companies, in addition to the projects of the Geox and Hipac companies, there was also Duracell, a regular in the Prevention Call, and awarded for having eliminated the primary packaging of the product, the plastic container that sealed the batteries. . “We managed to move from plastic and paper packaging to totally cardboard”, remembers Marco Ferrari, Duracell Logistics Director for Southern Europe and responsible for environmental issues. Not only. “An important thing is being able to obtain a cardboard that is recyclable up to 98% and with a decidedly lower weight than the previous one, which was 45 grams per square meter,” adds Ferrari. Two factors that made it possible to reduce both the bulk (by 40%) and the weight of the secondary packaging.

But the real “revolution” of the new blister pack is represented by the arrangement of the batteries:
same number, six, but placed in a row and no longer one above the other:
«By reducing the size and weight of the packaging, we were able to stack more products on two stacked pallets». Here too, near Duracell, we are already projecting into the future:
«We would like to get to the use of cardboard within a couple of years
completely recyclable ». All in the name of prevention.
«The business models of the future cannot fail to pass through prevention, if they want to be sustainable: it is in the design phase of a packaging that most of the impacts that this will have on the environment are defined.

This is why we continue to promote the eco-design of packaging with the
our Bando », recalls Luca Ruini, president of Conai, who underlines that, despite a difficult year a
due to the health emergency, “Italian companies have not pulled back, applying almost 20% of cases more than in 2019”.

Remaining on the subject of emergency, again during the award ceremony for the finalists of the Prevention Call, Conai presented the research, “Developing the Circular Economy by leveraging Purchase Trends” commissioned to the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies. In practice, by analyzing the circular behavior of consumers, we tried to identify how much the pandemic has affected the same behaviors: the results of the research, relating to a
survey carried out in September 2020, they were then compared with research carried out during 2019, and in February 2020, the period just before the lockdown.

What came out of the survey that involved a thousand consumers aged between i8 and 70, practically four generations? Several important considerations: from greater consumer awareness to issues
environmental issues to a growing attention to those of recyclability. The ideal packaging? Evidently the recycled one (excellent news). Not only that: 86% of the interviewees would be willing to pay something more (for half of them, even one% more) in order to buy the most sustainable packaging possible.

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LuceConcept is a young and creative company that was born in the heart of Brianza and summarizes the value of Made in Italy in the search for high aesthetic, technical and production quality.

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