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Circular Economy

A circular economy is one where a material can be directed into a waste stream where it will be sorted and reprocessed in such a way that the elements from which it is made can be transformed into a material that can be reused to create either the same product or a new one. This allows us to give a new life to our products rather than a single one where it is discarded into a landfill after use.

Circular Economy

As we live on a planet with finite resources it is important that we learn to look at what we would typically consider waste as a resource to be recuperated after its use and reincorporate this back into a new product. A circular economy begins with the proper disposal into a waste stream that will give a material the opportunity to be collected, sorted, and transformed back into a raw material. This means that we need to educate not just ourselves but our customers as well. This can be accomplished by understanding what the end of life should look like for our packaging once it has completed its function.

Linear Economy Linear Economy

How can packaging be part of a circular economy

What type of circular economy your packaging should be part of depends on the material being used. Some packaging is compostable and will break down back into the environment and be used as fertilizer to once again grow the renewable resource used to create it. Other packaging is recyclable and needs to be collected and sorted before it can be turned into a raw material once more. Depending on what material you use for your packaging the life cycle of said product will be different. Most important to know is what the appropriate disposal method for your packaging is.

According to a study from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation currently only around 14% of plastic packaging globally is recycled 40% of this ends up in landfills and 32% in ecosystems. The last 14% typically is slated for incineration. The first step of moving to a circular economy is setting up systems that allow us to recollect these plastics so they can be reprocessed into raw materials again. The second stage is creating markets where people demand that companies incorporate recycled plastics into their new packaging rather than using virgin materials.

Raw Materials

What do I need to do to integrate my packaging into a circular economy?

Typically the most important elements taken into consideration when selecting a packaging are elements such as maintaining product integrity, brand messaging, and of course any regulatory requirements that must be met. Transforming your packaging for a circular economy means also taking the end of life for the packaging into consideration.

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