Product design: Graphic products- Unit 3- Sustainability

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1. Life cycle assessment
What is a life cycle assessment?
A life cycle assessment is a technique now widely used to asses and evaluate the impact of the product or packaging
from the beginning of its life to the end of it life through the extraction and raw materials to the production phase,
including the life-cycle processes, including distribution, use and final disposal of the product.
What demands that a company's continuously improves its environmental performance?
BSI and the ISO 14000 series of standards
What are the two things a life cycle can be used for to make an inventory of?
Environmental inputs and outputs of raw materials and energy resources
Economic inputs and outputs of products, components or energy that are outputs from other processes
2. Cleaner design and technology
What does successful cleaner design require?
Reducing the environmental impact of the product or packaging throughout its entire life cycle
What requirements must a product have to allow it to be recycled?
Must be easy to dismantle for repair or re-use and so extending the products life.
Easy to separate different materials for recycling
Easy to remove components that must be treated separately for repair
Use as few different materials as possible
Mark the materials/polymers in order to sort them correctly
Avoid surface treatments in order to keep the materials clean
What issues arise from raw materials at the beginning of the life cycle?
Metals need a lot of energy to convert ore into the finished drinks can and during the extraction and
Also environmental impacts from mining.
Polymers come from crude oil which is a finite resource
Drilling damages the environment
A lot of energy required to process ores and results in carbon dioxide emissions
The UK relies heavily on imported timber and chemical wood pulp; these have to be transported long
distances, resulting in high transport costs and carbon dioxide emissions.
Environmental impacts such as deforestation and degradation of the environment.
Chemical pollutants used in chemical woodpulp production and bleaching also impact the environment.
What does this all mean?
Designers need to reduce the amount of materials used in order to conserve resources and reduce energy
consumption and pollution and use more recyclable materials or even materials that have already been recycled.
What can be done during the manufacturing stage of the life cycle to reduce the environmental impact of a product?
A simpler design with fewer components to reduce material use and assembly times
Different materials to reduce their weight or the quantity used
Materials that use less energy during manufacture and produce less waste
Simpler components that are easier to machine or mould and produce less waste
A simplified or different work flow with improved quality control
What is lay planning?
When designs are positioned so they fit close together to minimise waste.
What can be done to reduce the impact of distributing products to the environment?

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Other forms of transport could be used, such as trains or even waterways when appropriate
The size of the journey could be reduced from the manufacture to the consumer either by use of local
resources or geographical locations of distribution centres
Reducing or lightening the amount of packaging used in products
Exploring alternatives to fossil fuels
Name 5 alternatives to fossil fuels
Liquefied petroleum gas
Bio ethanol
Compressed natural gas
What are 4 advantages of Liquefied petroleum gas?
Relatively good fuel availability
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What are 2 disadvantages of electricity as a form of fuel?
Very limited range
Slow charging/refilling time
What issues arise when looking at repair verses replacement of a product?
Many products are designed in such so way that it is virtually impossible to access internal components if
something stops functioning.…read more

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Why is newsprint often made from recycled paper?
Contains the weakest fibres and has a short lifespan. Year upon year newspaper contains more recycled content.
What is a `remarkable pencil'?
A pencil made from recycled plastic vending cups.…read more

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Fuel is not required so eliminates fuel costs and production of carbon dioxide
Hydroelectric plants are highly efficient with minimum running costs due to highly automated operation
Hydroelectric plants tend to have longer economic lives than fuel- fired generation, with some plants now in
service having been built 50- 100 years ago.…read more

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Uses uranium, which is abundant and widely distributed fuel
Controlled chain reaction creates heat that can also be used to heat the power station
Mitigates the greenhouse effect if used to replace fossil-fuel- derived electricity
Passively- safe nuclear reactors use new technology leading to increased levels of safety to avoid leaks an
overheating leading to meltdown
Future development of fission reactors, which are cleaner and more efficient
What are 4 disadvantages of nuclear energy?
Unpopular/mistrust with public due to media coverage of large-scale accidents
Problem…read more

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What are Non-Fossil Fuel obligations?
Instigated in 1989 when electricity in the UK was privatised
The Government superseded the NFFO with the Renewable Obligation in April 2002 stating that all electricity
suppliers should source 10% of their supply from renewable technologies by 2010, rising to 15% by 2015
They are to encourage renewable energy projects and provide financial support
They aim to decrease dependence on fossil fuels and reach the UKs target of reducing its carbon emissions
by 50% by 2050
What is a carbon…read more

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Moving to supply sources in areas of ecological surplus
Certification systems that ensure that forests producing good for the UK are sustainably managed
Timber tracking systems to ensure that products from certified forest can be identifies as such
Reducing consumption through education and advisory approaches that show how to produce the same
benefits from less timber
Encouraging exporting countries to make the necessary policy changes required for the transition to
sustainable forest management
Supporting international efforts to control the trade in unsustainable produced wood
Improving…read more


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