exhibition presents sustainable alternatives to unnecessary product packaging | News | Vancouver Island University

VIU graphic design students showcase consumer-conscious packaging during Unwrapped at The View Gallery, through December 1.

Is product packaging nothing more than rubbish?

That’s a question Nancy Pagé, professor of graphic design at the University of Vancouver Island (VIU), asked her third-year Package Studio students. Then she launched a challenge: redesign the packaging of an existing product to make it more eco-responsible.

“Designers have the opportunity to have an impact on how a product is packaged, reused and eventually recycled,” explains Pagé, adding that students face a multitude of challenges to align the need to contain, protect and d ” display a product and minimize the environmental impact.

The students each chose a product and created greener versions of the packaging. Their creations are now exhibited at the Unwrapped exhibition at The view gallery, located in building 330 at Nanaimo Campus.

One of the exhibiting students, Chantelle Calitz, has chosen to redesign a Café Plus Sirops de Café gift box. The original design includes four plastic bottles in a large box with a clear plastic insert on the front so people can see the syrups.

Calitz first toyed with the idea of ​​creating seaweed sachets for syrup because they are 100% biodegradable, tasteless and odorless. However, because the syrup is so sticky, she thought it might be too messy and went with cartons of milk instead. The boxes can be recycled and fit perfectly inside a small cardboard tray.

“Instead of locking everything in a big cardboard box that used a lot of materials and was irresponsible for the environment, I chose to make the bottles the only packaging you really need,” she says.

Calitz says consumers can have an impact.

“Right now, when you go to a store, you’re bombarded with a million different products. You have the choice of choosing something that is a bit more environmentally friendly. I would encourage people to continue down this path, ”Calitz says.

Rebecca Hanelt, who also exhibits her work during Unwrapped, agrees consumers have the power to make a difference. Hanelt is passionate about the environment and practices conscious consumption in her daily life, buying only items in vintage stores and thrift stores. In the past year, she has not purchased any items made from new materials.

“Just be very aware of when you buy products and know that it has an impact. You are one person, but it can make a huge difference if you keep going, ”she says.

Hanelt has redesigned a Juicy Couture product. She wanted to show that you could create an environmentally friendly design while maintaining the high-end brand image. She says the opportunity to showcase her product, which she has worked so hard on, during the art show is a “great experience”.

Unwrapped, sponsored by ARC Document Solutions, runs through December 1 at The View Gallery, which is open Tuesday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m.



Rachel Stern, Communications Officer, University of Vancouver Island

T: 250.740.6560 l C: 250.618.0373 l E: [email protected] | T: @VIUNews

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