Ecodesign: reduction of material usage
Eco-design also addresses the reduction of the environmental impact of the extraction and processing of raw materials and components used for product manufacturing. It involves designing and developing products with the minimum amount of resources, but keeping technical and quality specifications.
Within this eco-design strategy of material usage reduction, the following actions can be distinguished to reduce the carbon footprint of products:
- Avoiding the oversizing of the product: the quality of the product must be linked to the expected use. Product oversizing leads to increased environmental impacts and economic costs.
- Decreasing the thickness of the component: it is possible to reduce the thickness of components, keeping their final properties by means of certain reinforcements.
- Using lighter materials: the incorporation of foamed plastics is a very interesting option for component lightening, especially for large-volume components.
- Decreasing surface treatments of the product: this action allows the reduction of auxiliary materials consumption (e.g., paints, inks, solvents, and so forth), which usually have a high environmental impact.