German environmental agency (Umweltbundesamt – UBA) has recently published the 9 Principles for a circular economy.
These principles update businesses and citizens in circular economy matters and explain the advantages of materials designed for the circular economy, depicts the importance of life cycle assessment of various products and drives consumers to reduce waste.
The article focuses on the environment by assessing the materials through their life cycle, which calculates total energy consumed during production, transportation, usage and end life, instead of focusing only on the last stage (end life) as it is done throughout these last few years.
As a result of the above, when it comes to packaging materials, a total switch of the non-recycled plastic to other materials that can be easily recycled (e.g. metal cans, paper) is not always a viable solution for the environment. As explained in the publication of UBA, packaging design plays a crucial role on the whole chain and attention should be paid to the life cycle assessment of the packaging material instead of only the end of life options.
The publication can be found here.