A circular economy is about keeping resources in use for as long as possible. It refers to a world in which business and consumers alike work to get the maximum value from resources whilst we can, recovering and regenerating them into new products and materials at the end of their life.
At the moment, we live in a predominantly throw-away culture. Why make the effort to recycle and repurpose when almost anything we want is just the click of a button away? Despite making good progress with recycling, we still over-consume and excessively produce short-lived or disposable items over durable goods that could be repaired instead of replaced.
Today’s mainstream packaging system is largely unsustainable. You buy food at the supermarket in packaging, you eat your food and you put the packaging in the bin to go to landfill. This is creating challenges for our environment – particularly where plastic is concerned – and it’s something that we at Tyler Packaging are passionate about tackling.
Circular economy explained
A circular economy may make more sense if we first explain a ‘linear economy’. Sadly, a linear economy is something you may be more familiar with. It’s a ‘take, make, dispose’ model of production. We take raw materials to make a product, the product is then used and then the product is thrown away. This linear economy is having a really negative impact on our global waste management.
A circular economy is the opposite. It promotes the continual use of resources, employing a ‘reuse, repair, refurbish, remanufacture and recycle’ culture to create a closed-loop system, minimising the use of resource inputs and the creation of waste, pollution and carbon emissions. That food packaging we mentioned? In a circular economy, this packaging would be broken down and used for something else after use – possibly more packaging.
Why is a circular economy important?
The world’s population is expected to peak at 10 billion in 2050. As our population increases, so too does the demand for raw materials – but the supply is not sufficient to meet this demand. Not only this but extracting and using these raw materials has a major impact on the environment. The extraction can cause soil degradation, water shortages, biodiversity loss, damage to ecosystem functions and global warming exacerbation.
And it’s not just the extraction that is the issue. The use of products made from these raw materials almost always results in greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, ecosystem damage and/or biodiversity loss. After they have been used, where they end up also becomes a problem. In line with the linear economy, they are simply disposed of within our environment.
Sir David Attenborough brought the issue of plastic in our oceans to the world’s attention back in 2019 when he addressed a report that highlighted the devastating impact plastic pollution is having around the world. It made packaging a big player within the mission for a circular economy. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimated that by 2050, there could be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans. With that in mind, packaging and plastics companies have the opportunity and responsibility to make sure that we keep plastic within a circular economy and out of the environment.
The benefits of a circular economy
The move towards a more circular economy will of course have huge benefits on the environment, reducing waste and plastic, and relieving the pressure on mother nature to continue providing raw materials for the ever-growing global population.
Not only this, but a circular economy would also increase competitiveness and innovation amongst businesses all over the world as they all strive to do better by creating more sustainable products and initiatives, based on a new way of thinking. The circular economy focus is already proving to have the potential to boost economic growth and create thousands of jobs within new ‘green’ industries.
These benefits will also filter down to the consumers purchasing the more durable and innovative products that will be available to them through these changes; products that will increase their quality of life and save them money in the long-term as we move away from a throw-away culture.
If you’re already mindful about your purchases and the amount of waste you create, you may already know that there are packaging-free grocery stores popping up all over the country, and many brands are choosing to package their products in recyclable/recycled packaging in order to minimise their waste. Packaging is an easy and sustainable way to begin making long term switches necessary to stop the devastating impact of plastic pollution and to begin turning towards a circular economy.
Tyler Packaging and a circular economy
In a circular economy, we not only use less packaging but we design the packaging so it can be reused, recycled or composted – 100% circular. At Tyler Packaging, we’re committed to protecting our planet and its people. We feel we have a responsibility to play our part in moving from a linear to a circular economy in the packaging industry by making sure that the material we produce stays in the economy and never becomes waste or pollution.
Our 100% recyclable range of materials has been developed as part of this commitment. The products within this range are produced using up to two-layer laminate, moving away from the mixed plastic laminates traditionally used which are not recyclable.
Alongside our recyclable range is our compostable packaging range, made from renewable materials that are environmentally friendly during their entire lifecycle. This packaging breaks down in a controlled timeframe under specific conditions that return the packaging to nature – promoting a truly circular economy.
The best thing? We haven’t compromised on quality. If you’d like to know more about our sustainable packaging ranges, then contact us today, call on 01926 651451 or email us on email@example.com.