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The Science of Wrapping

05.12.2007
To ensure its customers have a green Christmas this season, Bluewater have devised an eco-friendly scientific formula on how to wrap a Christmas present after estimating British consumers will waste over one tonne* of wrapping paper this Christmas.
Bluewater, the UKs leading shopping centre, discovered that Brits continually overestimate the amount of paper they need to wrap their Christmas presents. Following this new revelation, Bluewater today reveals the mathematical solution which will hopefully put an end to unnecessary paper wastage: A1 = 2(ab+ac+bc+c2)**

In laymans’ terms, the length of the wrapping paper should be as long as the perimeter of the side of the gift, with no more than 2cm allowed for an overlap. The width should be just a little over the sum of the width and the depth of the gift.

Those who need to wrap an unusual shaped gift, such as a cylinder, can compare its radius with its height using the formula h/(p-2)***. The equation will help consumers decide whether they should roll the paper around the gift or wrap the paper over the top of it to ensure they reduce their gift-wrapping footprint.

The formula has been created by Warwick Dumas from the Department of Mathematics, University of Leicester , who has been working with Bluewater to devise the perfect method of gift-wrapping that will help customers save time and money as well as reducing the amount of paper that will be wasted.

Mr. Dumas states, “The formula proves that consumers can still wrap their presents without using excess paper. We have taken into consideration all the factors that will impact the way customers will wrap their Christmas gifts this year, including the trend for buying unusual-shaped goods.”

He explains: “To explain in the most simplistic terms the minimal area of paper needed to wrap a box-shaped gift is twice the sum of the height times the width, the width times the depth and the height times the depth, plus twice the square of the depth. We have tested different methods of wrapping and our investigations showed that using the largest side as the base and cutting the right size of paper will allow consumers to wrap presents in the least amount of time and achieve a classy result.”
He continues: “Wrapping a cuboid diagonally uses strictly more paper than wrapping the traditional way except for an item with a square base, but wrapping diagonally uses a different shape of paper and so could be useful when only a small piece is left. When wrapping “diagonally”, 45 degrees is the best azimuth as long as

Where a>b>c are the dimensions of the item. Otherwise the best angle is such that the flaps only just meet.”

“For a cylinder, a rotational method of wrapping was compared with a method of wrapping where the cylinder is treated like a cuboid. It turns out that when the radius is greater than about 0.876 of the height (actually, h/(pi-2)), it is better to wrap the item as a cuboid but otherwise, better to roll it along the paper.”

To help shoppers reduce their gift-wrapping footprint, Bluewater have launched a new gift-wrapping workshop which will provide a step-by-step practical guide on how to wrap items and save paper.

Fiona Campbell-Reilly, Marketing Manager of Bluewater comments, Our aim is to help consumers wrap their presents efficiently and economically this Christmas. With 330 stores under one roof, we know that our consumers will be buying lots of presents this season. By using this formula, Bluewater shoppers can make an effort to become as green as their Christmas tree.

Ather Mirza | alfa
Further information:
http://www.le.ac.uk

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