Product Design - Lunch boxes

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How to make lunchtime less environmentally damaging:

  • Use cloth napkins, instead of paper ones [can we washed and re-used]. 
  • Use stainless steel cutlery [longer lifetime], instead of plastic ones, which need replacing.
  • Use a re-usable drink bottle, instead of small cartons/plastic bottles [can only be used once].
  • Avoid using aluminium foil, plastic bags, plastic ties & wrappers for lunches.
  • Avoid purchasing pre-packed items, but reduce waste, by buying food in larger quantities.
  • Do not rely on paper or plastic bags, but use a re-usable lunchbox instead.

What are lunchboxes often made of?

  • Group 5 plastic = Polypropylene. 
  • Made of corn starch.
  • It is biodegradable - but the lunch box is likely to take up to 10 years to fully degrade. 

How are lunchboxes made in industry?

Injection Moulding

-Used for complex shapes, such as lunchboxes.

-An expensive process, not used for prototypes, vacuum forming is used instead (in school) -Vacuum Forming uses PET or HIPS (Polylactides) - all 3 can be transparent.

Lunch Box Container - Functions & Design Criteria 



Keep the contents fresh

It is important that the contents stay fresh, so that the quality of the food is not degraded.

Fresh food is tastier and more appetising.

Protect the contents from any damage

It is important that the contents don’t get squashed or damaged, and so that the lunch box is strong enough to protect the contents, when being transported/used by the user each day.

Keeping the contents in place and secure

It is important that the lid is secure


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