Struggling for inspiration for my scenario based at the Royal Mail Sheffield South Delivery Office, I began thinking about how rubber bands might be involved. Rubber bands used by the Royal Mail have been a source of irritation amongst the public in the past, especially when these bands were red (since 2010 they have been a standard brown colour), and therefore were easily recognisable as having been dropped by a Royal Mail worker. At a time when the company is having to make cuts, it seems silly that their spending on rubber bands has increased by up to 40% over the past few years (“Royal Mail’s red rubber band use revealed – BBC News”, 2016).
First, I watched a video of how rubber bands are manufactured (How Its Made Rubber Bands, 2015) and then began to investigate how small scale production of these bands might work. I soon realised that this would probably take up more space than my scenario allows for (around 4m²), and it was this point that I discovered the potential of using old bicycle inner tubes to create elastic bands simply by cutting them up (Oskay, 2016).
How Its Made Rubber Bands. (2015). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TIXDbxtzMY
Oskay, W. (2016). One minute project: Bike tube rubber bands | Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories. Evilmadscientist.com. Retrieved 14 November 2016, from http://www.evilmadscientist.com/2007/one-minute-project-bike-tube-rubber-bands/
Royal Mail’s red rubber band use revealed – BBC News. (2016). BBC News. Retrieved 14 November 2016, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12518196