Design Out Packaging Waste With Trash Talk

Ever picked up a pair of avocados lying on a tray, covered by a sheet of plastic, then wrapped in plastic and thought: "why is there more packaging than avocados?"

Or ordered something online, which arrived covered in bubble wrap and placed in a cardboard box with foam pieces and thought: "this packaging it totally unnecessary".

Us too.

With almost every item you buy, you're throwing away cardboard, plastics and a range of other materials that came with the product that you actually wanted.

And it's having an enormous impact on our environment - just for the sake of a few seconds.

There must be a better way.

Packaging may be important for protecting our goods, but, there are less harmful ways of receiving our products safely.

It's time that we figure out what those ways are.

Photography by Fanny Beckman

Photography by Fanny Beckman

That's why we're launching #TrashTalk.

Inspired by the movements that are raising awareness of the environmental impact that plastics and other packaging materials can have, Trash Talk aims to empower consumers to consider the packaging that they really want.

On the week of 7th - 12th May, we're asking for everyone of all ages, genders and locations to collect the packaging for everything they buy, identify what's unnecessary and share ideas on how they would design it differently. 

This campaign is not about brand bashing. It's about inspiring positive, practical change, empowering consumers to ask for that change and supporting them in doing so.

Trash Talk will be an online-driven campaign, with conversations taking place across all social channels under #TrashTalk. There will also be a central Facebook group to provide a space for more in-depth discussions and to keep participants closely updated with the campaign.

We've also teamed up with Clarity Environmental, who help businesses comply with environmental regulations, to bring this campaign to life.

David Adams, Clarity Environmental’s Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to support a campaign that not only highlights the problem of unnecessary packaging, but will also discuss possible and positive solutions for change.

"As a compliance scheme operator we work closely with packaging producers across many sectors and we understand the challenges they face. Many retailers and manufacturers are already taking innovative steps to rethink their packaging, but it is a complex issue that needs wide-scale involvement; from decision makers to manufacturers and retailers. Consumer awareness is higher than ever before and we hope that this campaign will empower shoppers to play a part in finding solutions for the future.”

There are two ways you can be involved.

1. Volunteer to collect all of the packaging for everything that you buy in the week so that we can calculate your carbon footprint.

2. Share examples on social media of packaging that you find unnecessary and how this could be improved. This can either be on our dedicated Facebook Group and/or through your social media network of choice using the #TrashTalk hashtag.

Then what?

We'll be producing a whitepaper highlighting consumer attitudes towards packaging, the carbon footprint of packaging collected by all of our volunteers in the week and the most talked-about issues across social media. 

Later in the year, we'll be putting on a panel event, asking key decision makers and designers for their thoughts on our findings.

Together, we can find positive solutions to the packaging waste problem - but first, we need a Trash Talk.

Our Cities, BrightonCity Girl