has announced a partnership with Colgate-Palmolive to expand actions that leverage the circular economy in packaging. The latest partnership is for the 7th Edition of Braskem's Design Challenge, an initiative that engages college students to develop packaging under the Design for Environment concept, which facilitates the recycling process and minimizes environmental impacts over the entire life cycle.
Design Challenge to Develop Sustainable Toothpaste Packaging
In this edition, students were challenged to create more sustainable toothpaste packaging for Colgate-Palmolive. The hackathon was held on November 2 to 4 in the city of São Paulo. The winning groups presented a toothpaste refill tube design and packaging made from Green Polyethylene, which is Braskem's biobased plastic made from sugarcane that captures 3.09 kg of CO2 from the air with each kilogram produced.
Because it is an alternative that encourages proper waste disposal and stimulates the circular economy and the packaging is made from a renewable raw material (Green Plastic), the idea presented by the students could reduce environmental impact by up to 78 percent. "It was very gratifying to participate in the Design Challenge. We were able to understand that what's important to the plastics chain and society is that, after being used by consumers, the material is used to make other products. We definitely will think of resins as an important design material once we start our careers in product design,"
said Stefanie Troquetti, a design student at Mackenzie University and member of the winning group.
Making Packaging More Sustainable
"We are committed to making our packaging more sustainable, which is why we work with other companies and organizations that prioritize and support this cause. Participating in the Design Challenge gave us an opportunity to approach the topic with a solid foundation and open mind. We believe that collaborative efforts like this led to the most innovative ideas,"
explained André Moraes, packaging development coordinator at Colgate-Palmolive.
Fabiana Quiroga, Braskem's circular economy director for South America, explained how sustainability principles are increasingly being incorporated into the day-to-day routines of companies and that the Design Challenge is an opportunity to broaden discussion of the topic. "It's a great tool for connecting that also raises awareness in our value chain and facilitates the sharing of knowledge with future professionals. According to Quiroga, rethinking design to consider any environmental and social impacts, as well as the product cycle, also is key to helping increase recycling rates.
Braskem's Design Challenge has adopted a more modern and dynamic format that requires students to be more agile and creative to develop solutions at the speed required by the market. In the Colgate-Palmolive hackathon, students had approximately 30 hours to understand the company's needs and surveys of consumer behavior and market trends, develop the project and create a prototype.
In the prototype phase, 3D Criar provided the raw materials and 3D printers. In the last phase, students presented the prototypes to the examining panel, which included professionals from Braskem, the market and Colgate-Palmolive.
Braskem’s Life Cycle Assessment Methodology
The students also received support from Braskem to base their projects on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology, which measures potential environmental impacts caused by the production and use of a given product or service. LCAs consider all phases of the production process, from the extraction of raw materials to the product's disposal by the consumer, as well as factors such as global warming and the use of natural resources, with data quantified in accordance with the standard ISO 14044.
Design and Engineering students from the colleges Belas Artes, Instituto Mauá and Mackenzie participated in the Colgate-Palmolive hackathon, who were selected by a technical commission from Innoscience and Braskem. In addition to Colgate-Palmolive, other Braskem partners participated in the event, such as Innoscience, an innovation consulting firm, and the mentors Luís Bartolomei, founder of the agency CBA+G, and Cláudia Weber, operations manager at Interbrand and a professor at ESPM.