Reduce - Reuse - Recycle
A Circular Economy creates economic development independent of finite resources. For the packaging industry this leads to the following main levers:
REDUCE means that the amount of resources, and in particular finite resources, entering the cycle is being reduced by waiving unnecessary packaging parts, like e.g. overpacks solely for marketing purposes, or substituting oil-based plastic through renewable resources, such as paper.
REUSE means that all packaging entering the cycle is being used multiple times before disposal in order to utilize the resources to the fullest maximum of all used resources.
RECYCLING means that packaging waste is converted into reusable material through respective sorting and recycling technologies (mechanical and chemical). In a Circular Economy, recycling is the only acceptable scenario for disposal, even though the need for any disposal should be prevented in the first place.
A Circular Economy gives us the ideas and tools on how to solve the plastics paradox. It is now up to us, as business representative, to prove that we can make it happen.Alina Marm, Head of CE Hub at Siegwerk
To realize a Circular Economy, packaging needs to be rethought based on “Design 4 Less” and “Design 4 Recycling” solutions.
DESIGN 4 LESS means meeting the packaging demand with using less packaging by eliminating packaging components, using less plastic by substituting it with renewable materials such as paper and introducing new business models for reuse concepts. With wrapper-less ice cream, paper-packed snack bars, re-fillable packs or transparent mono-plastic packaging there are already some greatly improved packaging solutions on the market.
DESIGN 4 RECYCLING aims at increasing the recyclability of packaging by rethinking its design, e.g. by moving from multi-material to mono-plastic packaging or phasing out of materials like PVC.
Going forward, reducing and recycling of packaging will play a tremendously important role.