What is a Circular Economy?
Terms like ‘Circular Economy’ and ‘Regenerative Production’ come up in conversations around sustainability. They inform product and packaging design, business planning and marketing messages, but what do they mean?
Following on from our article about environmental claims, brands need to have a collective understanding of eco terms to avoid greenwashing. To aid understanding, the Ellen McArthur Foundation has produced a glossary of terms. This is designed to be a resource that ensures consistency in thinking, understanding and action across the globe.
The Foundation’s glossary describes the circular economy as:
“A systems solution framework that tackles global challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution. It is based on three principles, driven by design: eliminate waste and pollution, circulate products and materials (at their highest value), and regenerate nature.
It is underpinned by a transition to renewable energy and materials. Transitioning to a circular economy entails decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources. This represents a systemic shift that builds long-term resilience, generates business and economic opportunities, and provides environmental and societal benefits.”
Definitions are also provided for related terms, including ‘regenerative production’, ‘reverse logistics’ and ‘technical cycle’. If you’ve ever questioned the meaning of eco-phrases that arise in business meetings, take a look.
Cardboard Packaging Manufacturers and the Circular Economy
As manufacturers of cardboard packaging solutions, Aylesbury Box Company promotes the circular economy. We continuously strive for resource efficiency; minimising waste, along with water and energy use in our operations. Our actions have aided our resilience, reduced long-term costs and been the reason that many companies have chosen us as their packaging supplier.
Our knowledge of packaging materials and processes have supported many companies to remove plastic and polystyrene from their product packaging and shipping boxes. We offer them commercially viable and environmentally sustainable cardboard packaging and other paper-based options.
Sustainable sourcing is essential in a circular economy. Every cardboard box is manufactured from a high percentage of recycled fibres; some boxes are 100% recycled content. The virgin fibres have always come from FSC accredited forests. In these responsibly managed woodlands, more trees are planted than felled. These saplings start to absorb carbon dioxide as they mature and will ensure there is a supply of virgin material for future generations.
This year, Aylesbury Box Company was also certified by the FSC. This recognition is great for us and it helps our customers to evidence supply chain sustainability.
We support brands to reduce the volume of packaging. This means design that optimises protection and presentation, but with nothing more than necessary. We recommend solutions that increase the chances that packaging can be reused, as an example for returns. We encourage brands to print clear recycling information on packages.
Making Sustainable Actions a Habit
Globally, there has never been greater awareness of the need to change our processes and expectations. We all need to take responsibility for actively reducing our environmental footprint.
Retailers have to be open to discovering new packaging solutions for their products. The longevity of many products is often extended by packaging and this reduces waste. However, in some cases, no packaging is the best option.
Our packaging processes and future production rely on every retailer and consumer using the right recycling collections or centres to keep cardboard supplies circulating. Corrugated cardboard is a fast loop cycle; it can be broken down and reformed into new boxes in weeks. Recycle and the parcel you receive today could contain fibres used to deliver your Halloween treats and then your Christmas shopping!
Sustainable Packaging Supplier
Our friendly team are happy to advise on packaging design, including alternatives to plastic or polystyrene fillers. Based in Buckinghamshire, we offer competitive prices without the air miles. We can process small volume orders, as well as manufacturing boxes for large retailers. Why not get in touch on 01296 436888 or email@example.com.