Bio-based plastics in durable applications: The future of sustainable product design? A design review

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This design review evaluates the use of bio-based plastics in durable consumer products. The main question is: how does the use of bio-based plastics influence the product’s design, functionality, marketing & communication, and sustainability? Although higher material prices would lead one to expect that higher value applications would be targeted, research shows bio-based plastics are mainly used in short-lived applications like packaging. This study investigates their use in durable consumer products through a design review. The results indicate that bio-based plastic usage is still in its early days in durable products. Bio-based plastics appear to be utilized as straightforward replacement of fossil-based plastic. Designers are not yet using the unique properties of bio-based plastics in the design of their products. Companies mainly exploit the green image of bio-based plastics in their marketing & communication. Their focus is on the renewable feedstock and not on sourcing, or on recovery at end-of-life.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDRS Conference Proceedings 2022
EditorsDan Lockton, Sara Lenzi, Paul Hekkert, Arlene Oak, Juan Sádaba, Peter Lloyd
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-91229-457-2
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventDRS 2022 - Bilbao, Spain
Duration: 25 Jun 20223 Jul 2022

Publication series

NameDRS Biennial Conference Series


ConferenceDRS 2022
Internet address


  • Bio-based plastic
  • Product design
  • Design review
  • Circular Economy (CE)


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