Smurfit Kappa (Dublin, Ireland) has identified a sustainable new use for its aid boxes. The boxes are used by Scottish charity Edinburgh Direct Aid to send clothes and other essential items to refugee camps and can now be turned into furniture.
Smurfit Kappa has sent delegations to Georgia Tech's Renewable Bioproducts Institute in the past to discuss RBI's research in the area of paper, packaging and more.
Smurfit Kappa design teams from the UK and the Netherlands were given the brief of making the corrugated boxes, which would previously have been recycled after use, dual purpose. The teams looked at how the boxes could be designed to facilitate easy conversion into stackable stools, storage chests, and desks.
The ‘re-purposable’ boxes, which are printed with instructions in local languages, can be easily assembled and are designed to cope with changing climatic conditions.
"We read about how refugees around the world are suffering when they’re forced to flee their homes and how much they depend on these camps, so we were keen to help," said Stephen Cawdell, a technical design manager at Smurfit Kappa Northampton.
"At Smurfit Kappa, we constantly explore creative ways for our packaging to be re-used. The furniture made from our boxes is sturdy enough to be kept outside and the desks are very useful for use in temporary schools that have been set up in some refugee camps."
Speaking about the partnership with Smurfit Kappa, Denis Rutovitz, chairman at Edinburgh Direct Aid, said: "Smurfit Kappa came up with an impressive solution in the form of these specially designed boxes and it’s the first time we’ve used anything like this. In general, the camps are not well resourced so having a source of furniture will make a difference."
To date, Smurfit Kappa has donated 10,000 boxes to Edinburgh Direct Aid.