In 2016, the People's Design Lab launched a contest where people could come together to nominate the worst products in the market. Participants were asked to nominate products in five different categories:
This award is for those items which you find in your bin week after week. What are the things that you see being used regularly, but due to their design produce a lot of unnecessary waste. We need you to nominate these products so that zero waste alternatives can be designed, identified and promoted. Examples in this category might include disposable sponges, single-use coffee capsules or single-use coffee cups.
The winner was: Single-use coffee capsules
This award is for examples of completely excessive product packaging. Where products can be found wrapped in multiple layers of single-use and non-recyclable packaging. Some examples of this kind of badly designed product could be pre-halved avocados wrapped in cardboard and plastic, and sweets where in addition to being wrapped in plastic bag, each individual sweet is wrapped in even more plastic.
The winner was: Plastic packed vegetables & fruits
This category is for those products which you expected to last for a long time, but ended up being short lived. Breaking, without any possibility of repair. Maybe it was just a very small part of the product which broke, but with out the possibility of replacement or repair the whole object has to be binned.
The winner was: the umbrella
This category is for those products which you think are poorly designed, but don't fit into any of the other categories. You can submit any product you like to this category, but make sure to include the reason why you think it is an example of bad product design!
The winner was: thermal paper & receipts
Good Design Award
This category is for those products which are outstanding examples of good design. Where you are able to replace parts easily, without binning the whole product, and products which can last for years with minimal waste.
The winner was: Boc 'n' Roll