Circular approach to packaging Most business giants today, especially the ones in the e-commerce domain, have started rethinking the concept of packaging. However, a lot still needs to be done in the field of circular approach to packaging.
Though packaging plays an important role in the protection of goods, it should not be at the cost of the environment.
In the initial days when the concept of packaging emerged, companies opted for low value materials, most of the times, in combination with other toxic materials.
Due to such an approach, the process generated products that were difficult to recycle. At the same time, they created an adverse impact on the environment.
Statistics reports that in 2011, Europe generated 79.9m tones of waste. Such figures became a cause of concern and gradually, the scenario of packaging changed.
As the spending power of consumers have increased over the years, it is expected that global packaging sales will reach $975bn (£629bn) by 2018.
According to Roy Vissers of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, packaging should be an asset and not a liability.
This simply means a circular approach to packaging or no loss of material performance.
The Steps towards Embracing a Circular approach to Packaging
A good example of circular approach to packaging is the one used by the company Cradle to Cradle.
It combines all kinds of agricultural wastes that include corn stocks, cotton burrs along with mushroom roots.
These materials can be a great alternative to plastic, a commonly used medium of packaging. Reports say that Dell was the first organization to use this kind of packaging material. Coca-Cola also played a leading role by just introducing the first PET bottle that was entirely prepared from plants.
Experts say the first step to adopt a circular approach to packaging is to collaborate with the suppliers.
It’s equally important to get everyone involved, from recyclers to designers, who can work together to understand how material choices and performance needs influence the recyclability of packaging, as well as the resources and energy used in producing it.
Educating the consumers also plays an important role in making such an approach acceptable.
Consumers should be made aware about where and how they can recycle the packaging materials.
As consumers become aware about the environment and businesses realize the commercial and ecological benefits of taking a circular approach to packaging, the trend is set to catch on.
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