Synthesizing sustainability considerations through educational interventions

Maaike Mulder-Nijkamp* (Corresponding Author), Bjorn de Koeijer, Robbert Jan Torn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
82 Downloads (Pure)


This study addresses the synthesis of sustainability-related considerations in packaging design curricula by means of educational interventions. The core of the research revolves around an educational module for students in packaging design and development. This research targets the current late-stage integration of sustainability considerations in product-packaging development processes. The combination of the front-end involvement of sustainability considerations with the focus on educational interventions in product-packaging development is lacking in currently available research. The educational interventions which are tested in representative educational environments-as presented in this article-address the required focus on the balance in decisions and criteria, trade-offs, and team dynamics within multidisciplinary product-packaging development teams. The educational framework targets five perspectives of packaging sustainability: (1) managerial decision making, (2) life cycle assessment (LCA), (3) consumer purchase behavior, (4) recycling efficiency and effectiveness, and (5) plastic recycling chain redesign. This research's main contribution is bridging the gap between implementing new scientific insights in the field of sustainable packaging from various perspectives, and practicing by applying the relevant knowledge in this field, by means of a design synthesis approach. This research derives findings from both an extensive introspective analysis and expert analysis of the results of the educational module.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2018


  • Design brief, teaching
  • Design synthesis
  • Development team
  • Education
  • Packaging design
  • Packaging development
  • Sustainable development
  • Team dynamics


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