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This is not supposed to be

here because it's not circular

Plastic labels - critical design project

In collaboration with Manitu design 2020


Excess packaging costs consumers and the environment. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to avoid such packaging techniques, but it is a duty of the consumer to reverse this trend. Overpackaging often increases the product price significantly and also affects the environment. Plastic packings cannot be decomposed and most of the packings come into plastic only which contaminate the environment; there are many overpackaging i.e. vegetables and fruits in supermarkets, etc.  


Any consumer can replace their over-packed product with another comparable brand or company’s product and can support the go- green-plan: it’s our responsibility to go greenway if the producer is not bothered about it. So, opt the less packaging or recyclable packaging. We designed these two critical labels, downloadable for free, as an act of protest from the consumer to the producer. A visible warning, a warning sign.

On top: 1. 99 Cent II Diptychon, 2001. Credits: Andreas Gursky.

We live in a society dominated by the use of fossil fuels, far from a circular economy model.
We designed an oil-impregnated label as a denunciation of the current economic model: a spot of strong color to signal the danger of an unsustainable producing way. The oil spreads to the labels and creates always different shapes, so each sticker is similar but not the same. Besides, the colors chosen are an aesthetic reference to the danger signs and to the operators’ suits for environmental disasters.

Is this model circular? facing the visual paradox of a geometric shape that denies itself with words, the consumer is called to ask himself this question.



From the left: Indian Coast Guard personnel work to clear the slick after an oil spill polluted the Ennore beach on the Bay of Bengal coast near Chennai, India. Credits: AP Photo;  Petroleum. Credits: Rebecca Hale; Danger Signal for flammable material; Vincenzo Agnetti, Il punto è la prima ubicazione tridimensionale – la sfera inesistente (1970). Courtesy Galleria Milano, Milano.

Once again we talk about the circularity of the process, using the international recycling symbol. We choose to break it and take only an arrow to indicate that the chain is almost always broken. Besides, with the statement “this is not supposed to be here” we refer to the content (a banana inside a film), the container (an object that will not decompose for decades ) and in a sense also to the label itself.


Road and danger signs, transport
of dangerous goods and advertisements have become the inspiration behind the choice of this aesthetic language that inspired the concept, characterized by the use of the color palette in black and white.



From the left: Warning on cigarette pack Credits: Carol Amar; Soldiers take part in a clean-up operation at Ao Prao Beach, Thailand, 2013. Credits: Athit Perawongmetha; Signal for dangerous substances to the environment; Road sign other hazards. Credits: Kevers.

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