Circular design: reusable transport box

Circular design by the example of a reusable transport box

© Fraunhofer ICT
The demonstrator "reusable transport box" of Fraunhofer CCPE

Fraunhofer CCPE's "reusable transport box" demonstrator combines the potential of circular plastic compounds with innovative manufacturing processes for component production. Newly developed PLA-based monomaterial approaches, bio-based foams with functional additives and odor-optimized recyclates open up promising design opportunities for the realization of circular product designs.

In preparation for the K trade fair in 2022, Fraunhofer CCPE is working on the implementation of a "reusable transport box". This is where the requirements of end customers and companies in terms of durability, use of bioplastics, odor-neutral recyclates, design and digitalization come together. New circular plastic compounds and component manufacturing processes within Fraunhofer CCPE provide the motivation for prototype development. Starting from what is possible in terms of materials, researchers test design and construction principles that contribute to the fulfillment of a high degree of circularity as well as the lowest possible ecological footprint. The experiences from the "reusable transport box" implementation process not only support practical product design and engineering, but also feed into a systems modeling approach1 to support the circular design team in optimizing existing products for circularity and environmental impact as effectively as possible. 

The issue of traceable transport packaging also remains in fokus: To keep customers and entrepreneurs informed about logistics branches and the condition of transport packaging, a human-machine interface2 is being developed in combination with a digital twin3. This approach supports safe and long-term use as well as recycling-friendly recycling. 


Contact persons:

Research Department Application and Demonstration

Plastics and manufacturing processes

Sascha Kilian, Fraunhofer ICT (, Tel. +49 721 4640-448)

Circular Design

Dipl.-Des. Sabrina Schreiner, Fraunhofer UMSICHT (, Tel. +49 208 8598-1169)


1)  Systems modeling approach: Development of a reduced image of real processes, possible influencing factors and their interactions, here: Within a Circular Economy.

2)  Human-Machine-Interface: Digital interface between users and product.

3)  Digital twin: Virtual image of a real product.