The Knowledge Institute for Sustainable Packaging (KIDV in Dutch) has recently published the report ‘The State of Sustainable Packaging’. The central question of the report is clear: what is needed in terms of collaboration and innovation to make packaging more sustainable?’ The KIDV analyses both the obstructions and possibilities for realizing more sustainable packaging – distinguishing between measures for the short, medium and long run.
Director of KIVD, Chris Bruijnes, states that there is a difficult packaging dilemma: “We cannot continue on the current path, but we cannot stop either.” According to Bruijnes, packaging is necessary to avoid food waste and damage, but it is at the same time not always the most sustainable option. Bruijnes argues that, on the one hand, recycling is getting better and better, but that, on the other hand, recycled material is still insufficiently reused. The report ‘The State of Sustainable Packaging’ therefore describes how companies can achieve more sustainable packaging worldwide by looking for ways to recycle packaging or to create circular packaging.
Three innovation tracks
In ‘The State of Sustainable Packaging’, 13 potential (societal and economical) obstacles are listed that could make introducing sustainable packaging more difficult. These obstacles include, among others, the expectations of marketing and sales employees, which are not always aimed at sustainability, and the desired turnover rate. Besides, KIDV provides three innovation tracks to overcome these obstacles, including steps for the short, medium and long term.
- Recycle better and more.
- Circularity: introducing additional cycles in the production-consumption systems of the circular economy.
- Intrinsic sustainability: creating packaging that bring no damage at all to people and the environment.
In order to achieve the ultimate goal of intrinsic sustainability, KIDV advocates for new chains with entrepreneurs, researchers, policymakers and consumers. Bruijnes considers the publication a call for all members of the packaging chain “to find a sustainable alternative that meets our packaging needs and completely eliminates the negative consequences of packaging”.
Implementation of the plan
KIDV will start implementing the strategy described in ‘The State of Sustainable Packaging’ this autumn. To this end, KIDV has already set up several activities together with and for international partners, so that they can together realize intrinsically sustainable packaging.
Recycling and circularity as part of the solution
In his interview on the KIDV website, Bruynes mentions recycling and circularity as an important part of the solution for the packaging problem. At Circular Plastics we could not agree more with him. As Circular Plastics we also focus on this strategy to create more sustainable packaging concepts. We do this by developing, among other things, innovative packaging and transport concepts for our partners. In this way we can ultimately close the cycle and, thereby, achieve our ambitious environmental goals.
We are very curious what this report will bring. We will keep you posted about its outcomes.
Download ‘The State of Sustainable Packaging’
The report ‘The State of Sustainable Packaging’ can be downloaded from the KIDV website.
Read the interview with Chris Bruijnes here.