The idea of materials in a circular loop is quite simple: valuable raw materials should be processed to create new materials when a product reaches the end of its life. The best scenario would be that products are designed to last longer or to be reused. With this guide we want to give you a brief understanding of how paperboard contributes to circularity and how you can design your packaging with recyclability in mind.
When it comes to packaging, however, circularity focuses largely on recyclability, reusability and compostability of the materials used. Whilst some materials may be difficult to recycle, unless we include downcycling, there is a lot happening right now to improve recyclability.
In the next couple of years we will see many innovations in new technology and materials, as well as the introduction of new policies and regulations.
We will probably also see more joint efforts, since we must apply system approaches and work together in the value chain to improve circularity and recycling.
Countries lacking infrastructure will need to invest in collection, sorting and recycling capacity.
From the brand and retail side we have seen several initiatives recently that are mostly focused on improved recycling for plastic packaging. There is a general view that plastic is the area to focus on as only 14 per cent of all the plastics globally are collected and only 2 per cent are in closed-loop recycling (same or similar application).
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