Sustainable Development and Design

Design for Sustainability (D4S) is a globally recognised approach to sustainability that has evolved from one that was primarily technical and product-centric in focus to one in which in which sustainability is understood as a socio-technical challenge. D4S application to plastics has been primarily focused at the product level, e.g., improving recyclability, improving product design for recycling, design for disassembly, design for repairability and therefore encompasses much of the techniques that have also been applied in a circular economy context.

Plastic-specific examples may also be found at the product-service system level, but it is necessary to mitigate against rebound effects or risks that might arise from a more limited systems viewpoint and also to avoid unexpected consumer behaviour. Application at the socio-technical level has also been explored using a scenarios-based approach to conceive of how a sustainable plastics future could be achieved in the context of plastic waste in the ocean. At the policy level, D4S has also been addressed in the context of a national plastics waste management strategy, with emphasis on strategic management of uncertainty and complexity. There is also now a need to develop D4S with respect to newer technologies such as materials information technology.

We have undertaken extensive leading research into sustainability in the plastics industry and help customers to analyse and derisk their sustainability programmes, providing unbiased independent consulting, training and technological services that translate sustainability into tangible business benefits. 

Please find our services and related technologies below, and contact us if you have any questions or suggestions regarding our services.

Services and related technologies

  • Circular economy programme monitoring

  • Supply chain risk assessment and mitigation

  • Recycling vendor audits

  • Life cycle assessment

  • Recycling logistics and environmental impact assessment

  • Recyclate mechanical testing and composition analysis

  • Recycled packaging testing

  • Materials information management

  • Materials selection, substitution and sourcing

  • Material rationalisation and reduction

  • Training and development: 'Design for sustainability in a plastics context: translating sustainability into tangible business benefits'; 'Design for sustainability or Design for circularity?'