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A circular economy and corrugated

24 Apr 2020

FEFCO, the organisation that represents the interests of the corrugated industry, is the pioneer of the ‘Circular by Nature’ campaign.

The campaign reminds us of the circular nature of the corrugated industry, and the sustainability and recyclability factors that make it such a positive choice for packaging across a variety of industries.

As businesses become ever more committed to choosing sustainable packaging, the very nature of the corrugated industry is ‘Circular by Nature’. With impressive statistics, such as being 100% recyclable and that 88% of corrugated packaging is derived from recycled content, the shift towards seeking corrugated alternatives continues for many businesses.

Many tangible credentials are evident when choosing corrugated as a preferred packaging material.

• The product is easy to recycle
• It can be reused or repurposed by the end user
• Its flexibility, when it comes to design, can help with efficiencies including packing, shipping, logistics and storage
• It is manufactured using a mixture of recycled and virgin fibres which come from renewable sources and a natural, starch based glue.

Corrugated packaging solutions contribute significantly to the circular economy and are in direct juxtaposition to other packaging materials that are more commonly associated with a linear economy model of ‘make, use, dispose.’

This linear economy no longer holds the appeal that it once did for businesses and consumers alike. Businesses are keen to integrate their CSR directives into all elements of the business and the consumer has made a clear statement, that continues to gather pace, that there is a widespread desire to choose products that are either recyclable themselves or the packaging that they are put in, either in store or through e-commerce channels, is recyclable, sustainable or both.

A circular economy encourages the reuse, recycling and repurposing of products so that their lifespan is maximised. Furthermore, as has been highlighted in recent weeks, it is perfectly suitable for the food market, ensuring a one-use pack that can then be easily recycled rather than reused.

So how can a circular economy be integrated into your packaging?

Choosing packaging responsibly is perhaps the first step towards achieving this goal and can be achieved by making informed choices about the recyclability of the products you choose. Everyone, even the major supermarkets and global manufacturers are undertaking packaging audits to ascertain which elements of Single Use Plastic and wider packaging can be eliminated and either removed completely or replaced with a recyclable alternative. Indeed, it is worth noting the latest version of the EU’s Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive which has set a target, for those applicable, to ensure that 65% of packaging waste is recycled by 2025 and 70% by 2030. And, whilst huge companies are finding new ways to package their products others are finding ways to support some, such as Cup Cycling which is finding a circular way of dealing with used, takeaway coffee cups.

How can we help?

Complete understanding of the capabilities of corrugated continues to be under appreciated by some. Whilst it is made from paper its strength and versatility should not be underestimated. High quality design and innovation is at our core and this combined with our knowledge of the industry allows us to create some amazing packaging solutions that eliminate all other materials from our customers packaging supply chain.

Why not take the opportunity to take advantage of one of our packaging audits to either begin the switch to corrugated or ascertain ways in which your current corrugated usage can be used to greatest affect?

We are all responsible for ensuring our lifestyles and use of consumables is as efficient as possible and corrugated can play a huge part in achieving this for both businesses, consumers and end users.

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