Winning Axion Polymers design ‘has legs’
17 March 2010
Gary Poolman is Axion Polymers’ first-ever Green Product Design Competition winner with his innovative ‘Wazzon’ – a clever gadget for quickly drying plastic sandwich bags so they can be washed and re-used. Designed to be made from Axion’s 100% recycled plastic Axpoly compound, the injection-moulded, three-pronged Wazzon can also be used to dry other types of bags and items, such as rubber gloves.
Gary, who will now work with Axion on taking his product to market, received his £500 cash prize from Director Keith Freegard at an Envirolink event ‘Why recycled materials make good business sense’ at Haydock Park Racecourse on March 16.
The 25-year-old product design engineer submitted the entry with help from another member of Aphid Design, Alex Money. They believe the potential UK market size for his invention would be nearly six million. This figure is based on an estimated combination of young professionals making their own sandwiches (30%), and schoolchildren (8%) having sandwiches made for them.
Axion Director Keith Freegard said: “This is our first sustainable design competition and we wanted designers to engage with our recycled materials and to respond to Axpoly’s environmental profile. They responded really well to our brief with some really exciting, novel designs.
“Gary’s design impressed the judges as an innovative ‘green’ idea with the capacity to alter people’s behaviour. It was very well presented and he had clearly thought about the whole concept, including using minimal recycled packaging.”
Entries were received from as far afield as California and Columbia. The Wazzon was picked from a shortlist of five by a panel of external judges, which included Claire Curtis-Thomas, Labour MP for Crosby and a member of the Associate Parliamentary Group for Design and Innovation; Martin Charter, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Design, University College of the Arts (UCA); Roy Miller, Social Responsibility Advisor at B & Q and Bob Shaw, experienced industrial designer.
Claire said: “In the twenty-first century, young designers have to face the challenge of making innovative products which are both attractive and responsibly made. The winning product shows that this is possible and helps bring that message of low carbon design to a huge audience.”
Axion’s 100% recycled polystyrene sheet – Axfoil - and Axpoly compound are produced from 100% recycled refrigerator plastic, TV casings or post-consumer electronic games consoles at its advanced plant in Salford.
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