We are very excited to be able to share with you our secondlife packaging innovation work for Nestlé, which has hit the shops and available to buy - just in time for Easter!

New Smarties Hen House Easter Confectionary packImage: ©Co-oproduct CIC 2017. New Smarties Hen House Easter Confectionary pack developed by Co-oproduct CIC.

Over a year ago, we began designing sustainable design concepts for secondlife packaging solutions for both Nestlé Smarties and Milkybar. From a number of sustainable concepts, Nestlé chose our secondlife puppet show innovations, for the launch of their new Smarties and Milkbar 2017 Easter Confectionary Range.

smartiesImage: ©Co-oproduct CIC 2017. Main profile views of the new Smarties Hen House Easter cartons with Secondlife Puppet Show design.

The New Easter packaging has been designed to enhance consumer interaction and opportunities for Reuse. The final design uses secondlife packaging strategies to enable each of the packs to be transformed into an interactive children's puppet show after use. The outer packaging (box) becomes the 'Stage' and the inner packaging fitments include character puppets and other props, such as a stage backdrop, which can be cut out and decorated using the easter egg foils. 


Image: ©Co-oproduct CIC 2017. Cardboard inner fitment tray of the new Hen House packs cleverly designed to become cut out Puppets and puppet show Stage Backdrop.

Image: ©Co-oproduct CIC 2017. Cardboard inner fitment tray of the new Hen House packs cleverly designed to become cut out Puppets and Puppet Show Stage Backdrop.

Working with packaging is not at all new for us. We established Co-oproduct.org (the award-winning longerlife, Reuse & Repair portal) over six years ago and have been working tirelessly in both public and commercial sectors, to demonstrate that design-led, sustainable product and packaging innovation is possible and doesn't have to cost the earth. 

milkybarn2Image: ©Co-oproduct CIC 2017. Main profile views of the new Milkybar Milkybarn Easter cartons with secondlife Puppet Show design.

Today, we are very proud to be able to realise part of that mission. Smarties Hen House and Milkybar Milkybarn are perfect examples of products with packaging designed to live beyond their traditional purpose. They have been meticulously designed to be reused, are economically viable for the business and great fun for both kids and their parents!

Image: ©Co-oproduct CIC 2017. The Final Milkybar Barn Puppet Show Second Life is a Fun, Interactive Children's Puppet Show design by Co-oproduct CIC.Image: ©Co-oproduct CIC 2017. The final Milkybar Milkybarn Puppet Show is a fun, interactive children's Puppet Show designed by Co-oproduct CIC.

Image: ©Co-oproduct CIC 2017. The Final Milkybar Barn Puppet Show Second Life is a Fun, Interactive Children's Puppet Show design by Co-oproduct CIC.Image: ©Co-oproduct CIC 2017. The final Milkybar Milkybarn Puppet Show is a fun, interactive children's Puppet Show designed by Co-oproduct CIC.

The Co-oproduct CIC agency specialises in sustainable product and packaging design. If you want us to help you celebrate the Life & Times of your products and consumer packaging - get in touch by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We'd love to help you work towards achieving a more sustainable future for your business!

Thursday, 09 June 2016 09:07

Graypants: Scraplight White Series

Written by Jamie Billing

Spotted during New York Design Week 2016, the Scraplight white series is a collaboration between the Graypants Seattle and Amsterdam studios and builds on previous work by the team of 'Problem Solvers' whose work crosses Product and Architecture.

Graypants Scraplight White Series from Graypants on Vimeo

Using custom FSC-certified paper, produced from forests that replant more trees than they harvest. The Scraplight white series are an elegant and contemporary development of the original ScrapLights range. In their own words, Graypants say that they finally achieved the bright, modern glow that they always imagined from the original collection: The crisp translucency perfectly contrasts the rustic warmth of the natural cardboard Scraplights, making them a chic alternative for a variety of spaces.

In this ode to design renegades, Alice Rawsthorn highlights the work of unlikely heroes, from Blackbeard to Florence Nightingale. Drawing a line from these bold thinkers to some early modern visionaries like Buckminster Fuller, Rawsthorn shows how the greatest designers are often the most rebellious.

Thursday, 28 April 2016 10:10

Disrupting Design for the real world

Written by Jamie Billing

Toaster Teardown

Partial disassembly of toaster for sustainable design workshop at Plymouth College of Art ©PCA


Material culture lies at the heart of design and there can be no question that we have a need to better understand and evolve material culture, for the common good of all people. As a society we’re currently using twice as many resources as the planet can sustain and I believe that all practicing product designers should be adjusting their working methods to use the resources available to us more responsibly.


Making Futures - Beijing

Our Making Futures Conference (Beijing) ©PCA


In my experience, the commercialisation of design education has caused many providers of it to become more rigid and inflexible in the ways that they deliver design training and education. Educational providers of all types are naturally concerned about the risks associated with offering too many options in their design education curriculums. This means that too many educational programmes now nurture a conservative approach, leading students to deliver the results that they expect will best meet the needs of our material culture. It’s safer for educators to encourage this approach than it is to inspire students to explore and disrupt existing models of design - the path that would more likely lead to innovation.



Award winning 3D Printing from waste packaging work with Co-oproduct, Nestle’ Research and NTU ©Co-oproduct


According to Steve Rutherford, editor and author of the first cross-disciplinary design text book, The Design Student's Handbook : "At a time when design education at all levels is becoming definable, modularised and conveyor belt-like, what the design industry and the business world in general really need are people who are flexible, positive, pro-active and great researchers and communicators, people who take calculated risks and contribute real change to society, no matter what they're working on. As we're trying to do this, governments, universities and even professional bodies are trying to tie down what design is to a tight syllabus, a list of skills and a job specification. In a quick changing world these are not the things we need".


students teardown

Students learning to disassemble products during sustainable design workshop with Jamie ©Sarah Packer, PCA


Rutherford’s call for dynamic and proactive design education is also evident in the Design Disruptors documentary by Invision, where it is presented alongside clear evidence and numerous high profile case studies that demonstrate how a flexible approach to contemporary design can add value to any business or problem, no matter what the potential outcome. It is this ability to adapt and use the design process, through critical and reflective thinking that enables designers to transform even the most challenging of problems.


Design Disruptors documentary by Invision


Not surprising then, that the recent Design Council 2016 report, The Design Economyreveals £71.7 billion was contributed to the UK economy in 2013, by designers working in both design-specific and non-design industries. The Design Council report reminds us not to lose sight of how important design is. However, as Victor Papanek pointed out 45 years ago, “There are professions more harmful than industrial design, but only a very few of them.” (Papanek, V., 1971)


There are also many other important issues that we need to consider in the creation of our design educational curriculums. These include the fact that we are using 50% more natural resources than our planet can sustain (The World Counts , 2016 ) and that the recent explosion of big data means that there are rapidly expanding new markets and environments to be explored and understood.


Students evaluate toaster design 

Students evaluating a mass produced toaster using Autodesk’s Sustainable Design Tools ©Sarah Packer, PCA


Regardless of Papanek’s foresight, the majority of product design education hasn’t prepared well for this change and is only beginning to understand the significant effect that design can have on these major issues.


As a Senior Lecturer in Product Design, I’ve reached the stage where I’m not interested in creating another conventional product design degree, with the same accompanying problems as those that already exist. In my new role at Plymouth College of Art,I've been helping to establish a unique contemporary Product Design degree which has proven to be a rare opportunity to create a distinctive; disruptive and socially relevant new product design course. This opportunity reminds me again of how it feels to innovate...


"Talking disruptive design with Jamie Billing". @PCA


This new product design degree, combines physical and digital design with contemporary shifts in sustainable, ethical and open design principles - to disrupt the status quo and train the designers of the future. Uniquely to the provision of design education in the UK, we have identified three core drivers that are currently challenging design practice: Environmental Degradation’, ‘Social/Open/Frugal Innovation’ and ‘Interaction’ (or, the continued convergence of humans, objects and information). In the true spirit of creation, we have built our programme from the ground up around these central themes. The rationale for doing this is threefold:


1. Designers play a central role in contributing to environmental degradation, because design and the production of material culture drives consumption. Consumption requires a constant flow of resources and infrastructure and the majority of designers simply haven’t proved their efficacy in influencing a sustainable balance of natural resources against manufacturing demand.


2. There are many new emerging trends, cultures and methods that actively seek to disrupt the status quo, by challenging existing conventions and ideologies. Designers need to understand how the global phenomenon in new democratic, open, social and frugal forms of innovation such as ‘Making, DIY and Sharing Culture’ are changing and shaping the traditional role of the designer.


3. The recent explosion in software and data production forces objects and information further together than ever before, unifying them into new forms, often realised as complex and ‘smart’ responsive systems and products. The evolution of architecture and infrastructure to support this new data explosion means that many networks are comprised of multiple, evolutionary layers of dynamic and ‘smart’ platforms. Recently, designers and particularly the product design profession have begun to establish themselves as a vital influence in the manifestation of new software and data products. It is important that design education embraces this new shift in design practice and continues to explore the significant positive influence that product designers are achieving in the evolution and experience of these new products.


On the Product Design & Innovation programme at PCA, we’ll be adopting Fusion 360 for our students, as an alternative to Solidworks and once again, will use the sustainable design resources on the Autodesk Sustainability Workshop . I’ve used them many times in my own practice and academic work with students, which you can read about on Core77, at Autodesk or Co-oproduct .


jamie with students

Students discover how easy it is to design better products with Jamie & Autodesk tools at Plymouth College of Art ©Sarah Packer, PCA


If you would like to learn more about BA (Hons) Product Design & Innovation at Plymouth College of Art, please take a look at our website or contact me directly: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I’d love to hear from you!


Interesting article discussing Jamie Billing's educational work with Autodesk Sustainability Workshop, focussing on why design students should take products apart: http://www.core77.com

Toaster Final ExplodedView

The Core Toaster Concept by Joe Parker

Jamie Billing is a designer, academic and researcher. He is Technical Director of Multi Award-winning Co-oproduct CIC and Programme Leader in Design at Plymouth College of Art.


Did you know that you can publish your work or (, , on Co-oproduct.org for free? Just go to www.co-oproduct.org/submit

It only takes a minute and all we need is a PDF file. We will read it and if it's relevant and good enough, we will publish it in our database and share it with regular visitors from 139 different countries.


Following last years' Sustainable City Award, Co-oproduct CIC feature as an Inspirational Case Study in a new book by Greenleaf Publishing, "Sustainable Cities, Inspirational Case Studies".

1 3

The feature spans 8 pages outlining our mission and other areas of our work, including images of projects, competitions that we run and our community work in schools. As well as Co-oproduct, there are many other award winners featured, all working hard to achieve sustainable practice in our cities.


Projects featured in 2nd image:

-'Plastic Bag Mesh Dress' by Naomi Andrews, Chloe Bampton, Annie Edgerton.
Photography: Life Photographic | Makeup - Clare Newman  | Hair - Anthony Holland | Model: Marta Rembielinska
-Willow Farm Primary School Workshop
-'Cyclehangers' by Oliver Staiano

You can buy the book here: Sustainable Cities: Inspirational Case Studies, Greenleaf Publishing.

Winners and nominees of the 2013/14 Sustainable City Awards present their case stories in a new collection, Sustainable Cities: Inspirational Case Studies. These short, easy-to-read stories will serve as an inspiration to others around the world in the quest to make our cities more sustainable. The awards were established in 2001 by the City of London Corporation and aim to recognise and reward organisations that have demonstrated excellence in sustainable development. Sustainable Cities is published by Greenleaf Publishing in association with the City of London.

Monday, 30 March 2015 15:28

Welcome to Mariale

Written by Jamie Billing

We are delighted to welcome Dr Mariale Moreno as the new member of the Co-oproduct Team.

Dr Mariale Moreno

Dr Mariale Moreno is a research fellow at Nottingham Trent University. She collaborates at the UK INDEMAND Centre, an inter-university research project between industry and academic partners. Her work focuses on consumer behaviour and business opportunities towards reducing energy and material demand in different sectors. Mariale’s research interest are on the circular economy, sustainable consumption and production, fostering new business models through innovation, and consumer behaviour.

She completed her PhD at Loughborough University on User-Centred Design and Sustainable Consumption. Prior to this she studied a Masters Degree in Design and Innovation for Sustainability at Cranfield University. In the past, she has collaborated at the Royal Society of Arts and the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design on topics around behavioural change and sustainability.

Mariale has agreed to become a 'featured' blogger on Co-oproduct writing about ground breaking research on ethics, sustainable, open, design.

Tracy Cordingley, Creative Director & Co-Founder


Tracy has a first degree in Interior Architecture, and studied MA Industrial Design at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, London. Tracy has worked as an educator, researcher and designer across a wealth of different design practices, from Furniture and Product Design to Graphics, New Media and Packaging. Tracy's expertise is sustainable product and packaging design. Tracy is an Associate Lecturer in Product Design at Plymouth University.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jamie Billing, Technical Director & Co-Founder

jamie bio pic

Jamie has a BA (Hons) in Design Futures from Newport School of Art and Design and studied MA Industrial Design at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, London. Jamie has worked as an academic, researcher and consultant in Product Design, Packaging Design, Graphics, Branding and New Media. Jamie has written, validated and established design-related programmes at BA and MA level and is an Associate Lecturer in Product Design at Plymouth UniversityJamie's expertise is sustainable product and packaging design.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Co-oproduct are very proud to have won the 'Responsible Waste Management' category at this years’ RSA accredited Sustainable City Awards for their ‘Closed Loop: 3D Printing from Plastic Packaging Waste’ project in collaboration with Nestlé Research and Nottingham Trent University (NTU). The Awards Ceremony was held in Mansion House London on the 23rd March and hosted by entrepreneur, TV personality, and conservationist Loyd Grossman.

Co oproduct CICPhoto: Jamie Smith. From left: Jamie Billing, Sheriff Fiona Adler, Loyd Grosman, Tracy Cordingley.

During the period Jan 2014 - April 2014, Co-oproduct carried out a very short 3 Month feasibility project, exploring the possibilities of 3D Printing from waste plastic, with support from the Technology Strategy Board, Nestlé Research, NTU; ‘Working With You' and The Hive.

Co-oproduct Co-Founder Jamie Billing and NTU’s Senior Technician Kerry Truman, carried out the initial tests after modifying a Noztek filament extruder and building an open source RepRap 3D Printer. Jamie and Kerry were successful in 3D Printing from Polypropylene (PP) pellets made from waste packaging, as well as other waste packaging plastics; of which Co-oproduct believe to be the first documented evidence.

3D Printing from Quality Street tubsImage ©Co-oproduct CIC 2015. PP Quality Street Packaging: shredding, filament extrusion and initial 3D print tests.

3D Printing from Waste Packaging PlasticImage ©Co-oproduct CIC 2015. PP Pellets from packaging waste: filament extrusion and initial 3D print tests.

Jamie Billing said, “PP is a fantastic material which is commonly used very widely in all sorts of packaging and other products. If managed properly, research suggests that it might be re-processed several times, however we expect that most of todays post-consumer PP ends up in Landfill after its first life, which is why we wanted to explore ways of reusing it”.

Low cost and open-source 3D Printers, such as Reprap and Makerbot mean that this not so long ago expensive technology is becoming much cheaper and now beginning to become feasible for home use. It is now possible to buy a 3D printer for a few hundred pounds or make one for even less, as Co-oproduct did. Many enthusiasts already do this and print their own objects from their own printers, in their own homes.

Add this to the growing trend in DIY ‘Maker’ communities such as Co-oproduct.org where people openly share Make-it-Yourself instructions and files that can be modified and printed by anyone, anywhere and… according to Co-oproduct, you have nothing short of a “revolution in the making”.

Describing the potential use of PP in Co-oproduct’s recent 3D Printing project, Jamie says “3D Printing from PP is a difficult challenge, since the plastic has a ‘memory’ and likes to return back to its previous state, when it cools. You need to heat PP if you want to 3D print from it and as it cools on a 3D print bed, it has the desire to ‘warp’ and ‘shrink’, which makes it very difficult to build on. However, we discovered that there are ways of ‘stabalising’ PP so that it doesn’t warp and shrink, both during initial extrusion into filament and during the actual printing process”.

Results from Co-oproduct’s independent LCA carried out by Econolyst Ltd in March 2013, indicated that their proposed closed loop reuse of PP packaging via 3D Printing, could potentially use 20 MJ less energy and 50% less water per 1Kg than the current, most popular 3D printing solution.

Co-oproduct.org is an open, community-driven educational ‘hub’ which champions best practice in reuse, repair and longer life design. It was founded by designers/educators Jamie Billing and Tracy Cordingley in 2012 and is now an award-winning platform, where designers join everyday people to openly share sustainable product design ideas from across the globe. See www.co-oproduct.org

The ‘Closed Loop: 3D Printing from Plastic Packaging Waste’ work is ongoing and Co-oproduct are currently looking for further financial support to take it to the next stage. Get in touch, if you want to sponsor them: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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