The way we package food has a direct impact on the future of our environment. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), food and food packaging materials make up almost half of all municipal solid waste. One reason for this colossal amount of waste is due to the fact that most food packaging is designed for single-use applications and is not recycled. As more waste piles up, it has a harsh effect on our ecosystem. Thankfully, a circular economy might be the solution to this issue.
Many companies seek new ways to eliminate packaging waste by creating a circular economy within their manufacturing practices. This approach allows manufacturers to create sustainable options for food packaging and avoid harming the environment. When it comes to reducing your company’s waste and carbon footprint, a circular economy offers benefits you won’t want to miss.
WHAT IS THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY?
Single-use and unrecycled food packaging materials follow a linear economy, wherein natural resources are transformed into products that are discarded after use. A circular economy, however, is based on the idea that there is no such thing as waste. The process begins with rethinking product design to eliminate unnecessary materials and incorporate more environmentally processes in the production line. The redesigned materials are then produced, distributed, used and either composted or recycled to make new products. If applied over time, this closed-loop process can help eliminate food packaging waste drastically. European researchers recently found that if one in two food packaging pieces were redesigned into recycled material by 2050, 50% of packaging waste reduction could be achieved, eliminating about 46 million tons of waste. Not only would this change create a healthier ecosystem for oceanic life, but carbon emissions and water usage could also be reduced, too.
Implementing a circular economy model into food packaging production offers incredible benefits not only to the environment, but to packaging manufacturers as well. Here are just a few of the ways reducing waste could bring a positive impact to your company:
- Decrease costs: Auditing and evaluating your package design process can result in significant savings. For example, sustainable materials tend to be lightweight, saving you money on shipping costs. Plus, the reduced weight of your materials can lower your energy usage as well.
- Create more space: When manufacturers shift their packaging designs to use less materials, they often end up with more space for transport and more space for other projects within the manufacturing facility.
- Increase sales: A recent study shows that over 70% of customers are likely to pay a premium for sustainable products. Manufacturing sustainable packaging solutions can help you drive sales with an additional way to market your products.
HOW CAN YOUR COMPANY CONTRIBUTE TO THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY?
Becoming a waste-free organization doesn’t happen overnight. The transition must be thought through from start to finish. To reduce waste from the get-go, manufacturers should redesign their processes and products to include sustainable materials that can be reused time after time.
Bostik is dedicated to supporting you with sustainable adhesive products and offering expertise to help you make this transition. If you’re ready to explore how adhesives can help you create a circular manufacturing model, we are happy to guide you along the way. Our experts will work with you to bring your vision of sustainability to life. To get started, contact our team of sustainability experts.
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