Engineering & Technology


The Six Rs

Designing something to use less resources to make it.

These two packets of cereal contain the same amount but need less packaging. Less cardboard is needed.

This is where the materials of a product are extracted and used to make new products.

Glass bottles, drinks cans and cardboard packaging are easily recycled.

Products that are made of many different materials are more difficult to recycle because they need to be taken apart first.

This is where a product can be used to fulfil another purpose. For example, this plastic bottle has been made into a planter.

Designers have the power to deliberately design products that can have another use once it is finished with.

This is about thinking if you really need a product at all. For example, do you really need a new mobile just because your mate has one, even though yours still works and does the job?

Sometimes products contain parts that aren't essential. Refusing to use these parts in a design reduces the materials needed.

Products are often made of particular materials, for example tents are usually made out plastics.

A designer can rethink a product and come up with other ideas. Why not make tents out of card or biodegradable plastics instead?

Electronic products in particular are usually thrown away once they break.

Repairing them instead means that no more materials are needed to make a new product.

Why do yout think some manufacturers might not be keen on this idea?