Reducing Plastic Waste in Taipei

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About Project:

A way of reducing plastic waste exploring different packaging designs combined with technology.

Ambition:

How can we reduce plastic packaging waste when considering children’s toys?

Solution:

Packaging Redesign and Mobile Design.

Role:

Lead - Personal Project

Summary:

My goal with this passion project was to develop an alternative to plastic packaging for kid’s toys, adding value to the packaging and utilizing digital alternatives.

🎯 Challenge

I lived in Taipei, Taiwan, during my second academic semester of 2022. Observing the environment around me and reading more about environmental problems, the impact caused by the excessive use of plastic caught my attention.

According to “Our World in Data,” packaging is the dominant use of primary plastics, which caught my attention to the amount of plastic utilized in a few local stores in Taipei, especially for children’s products.

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💡 Insight

How can we reduce plastic packaging waste when considering children’s toys?

My goal with this passion project was to develop an alternative to plastic packaging for kid’s toys, adding value to the packaging and utilizing digital alternatives.

Approach to Problem:

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Initial approach:

I started by brainstorming feasible and practical alternatives to the current plastic packaging. As a massive fan of lego, I used some of their plastic product packagings as the reference to base my brainstorming process

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What solution did I come to?

I concluded that we could use strong paper boxes instead of using plastic bags or plastic boxes to store toys. With a cheaper material, the solution’s value comes from what children can do with the package.

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My approach is to create a box packaging from robust, “origami-like” paper. In a square shape, one of the sides contains instructions to guide children through the journey, the other includes a QR code that leads to the digital environment, and most importantly, the blank side of the box is a removable origami paper.

Packaging Proposal: Consisting of summarized step by step instructions and the QR code to play with the origami.
Packaging Proposal: Consisting of summarized step by step instructions and the QR code to play with the origami.
One of the sides of the box, after detached from the box, having the perfect size and material to construct the origami.
One of the sides of the box, after detached from the box, having the perfect size and material to construct the origami.

Bringing the Toy to Life:

Main Mobile Screens:

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Project Mockup:

  • Scanning the QR code from the packaging, the kids are taken to tutorials online on the company’s website, which would help assimilate the company with sustainability and fun!

  • After detaching the removable square paper from the box packaging, children can follow the origami tutorials with the help of their families. This helps kids to practice cognitive skills with manual creative activities and have more meaningful family time.

  • When the origami is finished, children can scan their new toys and see them as digital friends. The children can now participate in the storytelling process and create their world.

Learnings:

  • In this passion project, aiming to find creative solutions to a critical environmental issue, I learned how to empathize with the audience: children and companies worldwide. I also learned how to utilize analogical solutions to explore digital opportunities, inspiring innovative approaches to common everyday problems.
  • The result was a simple change in the packaging, exploring a less environmentally harmful material for packaging with the additional feature of a QR Code. Thinking of the children, the users of the toys, I thought of a solution that allows them to have fun with the packaging, spend more quality time with their families and give life to their self-made new paper toys.

Next Steps:

  • If I had more resources for this project, I would like to develop and test the physical solution with children. I would evaluate the level of difficulty it is to open the packaging as I designed to then create origami from it. After observations and interviews with children and toy companies, I would improve the solution in terms of usability and practicality.

Thank you for visiting my portfolio! 👋