The use of organic residues to develop packaging: tests in molded pulp

DS 122: Proceedings of the Design Society: 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED23)

Year: 2023
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nadège Troussier
Author: Sastre, Ricardo Marques; Zeni, Cristiane Ferrari; De Paula, Istefani Carisio; Hauser, Ghissia; Da Conceição, Stéfanie
Series: ICED
Institution: Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): 3543-3550
DOI number:


At the end of its life the packaging may become a residue if it is not correctly discarded, becoming a visible component of the waste produced on the planet, with a defined shape and communicating with the world. In the same way, large-scale agricultural production generates organic residues that, although representing fiber-rich materials, are discarded, such as rice husk, coconut husk, wood fibers, among others. To contribute with solutions to minimize the environmental impact of packaging and organic residues, the present study aims at performing preliminary tests of molded pulp packaging manufacturing from organic residues, in a circular economy context. Action research was used as the method to guide the collective construction (project team and partner companies), and the direction of the preliminary tests of packaging to be manufactured. The tests performed on coconut fibers in transfer molding and thermoforming were promising, but they required the addition of binder substances like byproducts from starch, especially in the transfer molding method. Besides using fibers from alternative sources to cellulose, the proposed packaging is potentially compostable and may replace non-renewable material like oil-based polymers.

Keywords: Circular economy, Sustainability, Ecodesign

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