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Design Students Create Eco Packaging Solutions for Local Brewery

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Design students from the University of Worcester have been working on a sustainable packaging project to support the Wye Valley Brewery in Herefordshire.

The brewery sees sustainability as a growing factor in its business and places particular emphasis on the use of local hops, which supports the local farmers and helps minimise its ‘food miles.’ In addition the majority of its product is cask ale, using beer barrels, which are the ultimate reusable packaging.

However, for this project, Wye Valley Brewery commissioned the Graphic Design students to improve the environmental credentials of secondary packaging for their bottle-conditioned ales.Design Students Create Eco Packaging Solutions for Local Brewery

The students were tasked to create packaging prototypes to display and protect a gift-pack combination of bottled ales and condiments, also featuring produce from another local business, Legges of Bromyard.

Jennie Hermolle, Wye Valley Brewery Marketing Executive, said: “It was great to see the fresh thinking the students bought to bear on this project. We were impressed by the breadth of design ideas and also the depth of thinking that had gone into addressing sustainability issues. As a regional brewery, it was a fantastic opportunity to harness so much up-and-coming creative talent.”

Rosanna Perez-Curtis was selected by the clients as having the best design and has now been offered the chance to meet with the Wye Valley Brewery’s main packaging supplier to discuss her ideas further. They’ll also look into the feasibility of incorporating some or all of her ideas into future packaging solutions for the brewery.

Rosanna said: “Green Design has been an eye-opening module which has allowed us to witness and experience the advantages of sustainable packaging design and how important it is to encourage and promote. It was a pleasure to be working with Wye Valley Brewery in our 'live' brief and to be given the opportunity to support a local business striving towards increasing their sustainability in as many ways as possible.”

Additional contributions came from students Nicole Little, Kashka Neri and Lizzie Boland. Many of the students’ concepts utilise new and evolving sustainable packaging methods. Additionally, they aim to encourage consumers to either delay or halt the throwing away of the pack after it's main use by ideas such as re-usable pub games on the reverse. The students involved were studying on the Graphic Design and Multimedia course’s unique final year ‘Green Design’ module.

Senior design tutor Andy Stevenson said: “Today’s designers are increasingly being called on to work with sustainability in mind due to organisations and employers embedding these commitments in their ‘corporate responsibility charters’ such as Marks and Spencer with their ‘Plan A’ commitments.”

Katy Boom, the University of Worcester's Director of Environmental Sustainability, added: “The innovative way this module is taught, one that is both practical and vocational is something students are increasingly asking for from their universities and something we have a long history here at the University of Worcester. The University of Worcester already one of the greenest universities in the Country and is now carefully developing courses to reflect this commitment.”