Design students tackle plight of plastic waste

Saskia Tykkylainen has designed prototype reusable packaging for personal care products that could help cut plastic waste

8 May 2018

  • Student designs reusable packaging for toiletries such as shampoo, facewash or moisturiser to cut plastic waste
  • One of a range of designs to be showcased at Aston Inspired next month.
  • Register to attend via Eventbrite.

Design and engineering students at Aston University have been inventing new ways to tackle plastic waste and other global issues.

As part of their final year projects, the students’ prototypes will be displayed at the university’s annual design and engineering show Aston Inspired taking place next month.

Saskia Tykkylainen, a product design and management student, is using her project as an opportunity to tackle the issue of excessive plastic waste.

Environmental and sustainability issues are important to Saskia. She wanted to reduce the amount of plastic waste she produced in her daily life, but found it difficult. This inspired her project.

The final year student has designed a personal care product packaging range and refill system, which are both stylish and elegant to encourage multi-use and reusability.

The range consists of different size bottles which can be purchased separately and refilled with products such as shampoo, facewash or moisturiser. They could be purchased online, or delivered to the home via a subscription service.

Saskia said: “Cosmetic and personal care products are often heavily over-packaged, and difficult to reuse and recycle. I would imagine my packaging solution to be used as part of daily life, bringing simplicity and an element of style to it, while being a better solution for the environment too.”

Saskia will be joined at Aston Inspired by her fellow students including Jamie Chan, who is developing a prosthetic leg cover which is aesthetically more in tune with popular fashion trends; and Ben Stoker, who aims to increase popularity in the High Speed Rail (HSR) market.

Jamie said: “The idea for my project originally stemmed from a personal experience of mine. It inspired me to do my part in easing the grieving process experienced by young amputees.”

Ben added: “I want to take the quality of environment found in premium class air travel, and apply it to the 2025 HSR market. I have developed a classical and futuristic environment to fully compliment both the luxury and convenience of travel by rail.”

26 designers and 75 engineers will present their projects at Aston Inspired, which will take place at the Conference Aston Meeting Suites on Thursday 7th June. It will be open to the public from 12:00 – 21:00. 

Following on from Aston Inspired, some of the students will exhibit their products at New Designers, the UK’s most important exhibition for emerging designers.

You can find out more about Aston Inspired and sign up for tickets by visiting


Notes to the editor

Photos (click links to download)


About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students.  Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston has been a leading university for graduate employment success for over 25 years and our students do extremely well in securing top jobs and careers.  Our strong relationships with industry partners mean we understand the needs of employers, which is why we are also ranked in the top 20 for graduate employability.

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