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Circular Design Principles

The world is changing. If we think differently about the way we design products and packaging, we can make a real impact on the future. Paper-based packaging solution are circular by nature, and DS Smith’s focus on innovation means we’re well placed to design out packaging waste, replace plastics, and help accelerate the transition to a circular economy.

Through our cooperation as a Strategic Partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, we have developed a set of Circular Design Principles, translating the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s circular economy model into packaging solutions.

Design is a key principle of the circular economy. With our network of over 700 designers and our focus on innovation, DS Smith is well placed to make a real impact by putting sustainability at the heart of our business model and offering our customer more sustainable packaging solution.

That’s why we launch our Circular Design Principles in a special event hosted by Greg Dawson, Head of Group Corporate Affairs at DS Smith;  Lydia Butler, Customer Experience Manager at DS Smith; Alan Potts, Head of Innovation at DS Smith and by Joe Iles,  Circular Design Lead from the Ellen Macarthur Foundation.

Watch the event now:



The 5 Circular Design Principles 

 Our designers provide more details about the Circular Design Principles. Watch the below short videos: 

1. Protect brands and products: Packaging protects products, and all the resources invested in them from physical damage & waste (impact drop and vibration), environmental conditions (heat, moisture and dust) and protect people from harm (ergonomic and ease of handling).


2. Optimise materials & structure: Not using more material than necessary. Optimising the use of packaging materials saves resources and reduces waste, including physical construction (using material only when needed) and material direction.

3. Maintain & Recover Materials: The quality, durability and recyclability are key to keeping packaging products and materials in use for as long as possible, eliminating waste. This means maximizing the use of the fibres and recognising the value beyond the primary function (reusability, collapsibility, recyclability).

4.Maximise supply efficiencies: Packaging makes supply chains more efficient, from converter to consumer. With an end-to-end approach that considers every step of the way from storage and warehouse optimization (cost and carbon savings) to customer’s factories, packaging lines and optimization of ergonomics.

5.We find a better way: By living our values we challenge ourselves and our customers to develop more circular packaging solution.