What is the recipe for success in driving the circular economy for packaging in Europe today?
Three ingredients managed with passion: Collaboration – Action – Communication!
Why Circular Economy?
To protect our planet and its natural resources. We live on a beautiful planet which is generous to us but which is also sending us signals that we are reaching its limits. And this is where circular economy becomes a topic of interest for everybody on this planet and in Europe we can play a leading role.
What are the key challenges for packaging related to the circular economy?
Food! Keeping food fresh, that is the first key challenge for us, for the packaging industry. We do not always realize that today one-third of the food produced is lost between harvesting and reaching our tables. Packaging can help prevent food waste in many ways and thereby also address the consumption of natural resources associated with food production, processing and distribution.
Packaging contributes to a more sustainable world. And once it has fulfilled its initial role it is our goal to use the packaging material left as a sustainable resource, to create new products or to recover the value embedded in it.
That brings me to the other key challenge - waste collection. We need to work on collecting all packaging materials in an economically and environmentally efficient way. What is needed is a legislative and regulatory environment that stimulates investments in effective waste management methods, the most appropriate for each country and stimulate consumers to collect packaging materials in a sustainable way.
How do the three ingredients: Collaboration- Action- Communication, work to address the challenge of the Circular Economy in Europe today?
I believe strongly that only through collaboration, embracing partners with different backgrounds, expertise and ideas, we can successfully address the different challenges our world is facing.
Circular economy is such a challenge and the packaging industry has joined forces to work throughout the value chain on solutions.
Action is needed to bring other partners into the value chain like legislators, local authorities and NGO’s in order drive progress together, to level barriers and ensure that best practices can be implemented. Why not envision collaboration between all stakeholders to drive the most eco-efficient collection schemes?
We must make sure that society has a good understanding of the situation and of the work the different stakeholders are doing to address the challenges. And let’s make sure we also communicate the progress made to demonstrate the power of collaboration and inspire for more action..
At Dow we Developed Pack Studios to enable these three ingredients to deliver on the toughest industry challenges, the Circular Economy included.
Since I started working in this industry, I have noticed that we, the players in the packaging industry, have one thing in common: the Passion for Packaging. I call on all my colleagues to bring the energy from their passion into Collaboration- Action- Communication. Only by working together we can advance the circular economy.
Hear more from Dana Mosora at Sustainability in Packaging Europe next month