In Spain, about 18 million ink cartridges for printers are sold annually. A part of these cartridges, return to the stores where they are accumulated and then delivered to authorized companies that reuse a part of them as cartridges and others that recycle the plastic material that structure them.
Many times, the potential for reuse or recovery of these cartridges is compromised because a proper collection is not done, but mixed with other type of waste.
The objective of the project was the design and development of a container, to encourage the collection of empty ink cartridges, for a company distributing consumables for the office sector.
The project briefing demanded:
- An iconic and emotive design.
- A light, resistant, recycled, and recyclable material.
A material which would improve the quality and effectiveness of the current containers; mostly cardboard boxes, while having a graph that would be attractive enough for potential users.
Design proposals for the container for used ink cartridges.
In the design process, it was concluded that the container should be composed of two independent parts:
- A sturdy inner box to protect the cartridges and prevent theft:
- Act as a container-conveyor element for cartridges.
- A decorative cover that will communicate the purpose of the container, made with a sheet of PP stamped, to optimize its transport, and to guarantee a simple assembly on-site.
As for the materials, they decided on different options, inclining finally by:
- High density polyethylene (HDPE) for the inner box.
- Polypropylene (PP) for decorative cover.
Both thermoplastic polymers used in a wide variety of applications such as packaging, stationery, products for the construction, and automotive sectors, etc. As most plastic polymers can be recycled and are completely recyclable.
The project reached the stage of development of prototypes in scale 1: 1 and the proposal of the graph.