Zero waste by design; an Eco-design centre workshop

On Thursday, we attended an excellent zero waste workshop, designed and delivered by the Eco-design centre. Housed in the academic setting of the National Museum of Wales, our session represented the last in a sequence of four ‘Zero waste by design’ events. It was up to their usual high standards. Comfortably informal, slightly chaotic and thoroughly engaging, we analysed and critiqued waste streams, looking for opportunity and enhancement, reduction and removal.  At the end of the session the great question remained: How does society stimulate a demand for its perceived waste? Ideally we’ll all get turned on to consuming less and discarding little, but for the time being at least, millions of tonnes of potentially re-usable waste will be generated each year. The great question – and challenge – directed to an audience of designers and decision makers was essentially this; How can you contribute to reducing waste?

Far too often this is a disconnect between product use and our responsibilities as manufacturers (and ultimately consumers). This is not an issue that is lost on us at Elwell. To a degree we are fortunate (though this is deliberate) that our product selection lends itself to recycling or re-use at end of life. However with a recent expansion in our product range  – wood, green roofs, potentially plastics – the waste hierarchy needs to be considered fully. Few of our customers will want an end of product life headache and most will want a justifiable contribution to their own sustainability agenda. This workshop refreshed our memories on the significant challenges facing society and our role as ambassadors within it. Throughout the session, Laura from auralab visually captured many of the ideas for use in a rich picture. Below is a rather nice video that shows just how busy she was.


The Eco-design centre specialise in making ‘ecodesign happen through developing and delivering collaborative multi-sectoral ecodesign projects’. They are based in Cardiff, work internationally and can be contacted via their website. An Odoni perspective of this workshop can be found here.

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