Ecodesign: In search of the perfect container

In 2021, the future of the planet has finally passed to a foreground. Present in all international summits and new laws, environmental concerns have become a

Ecodesign: In search of the perfect container

In 2021, the future of the planet has finally passed to a foreground. Present in all international summits and new laws, environmental concerns have become a priority that affects all aspects of society. A global transformation that also passes through new forms of consumption and that includes the conception of containers, an aspect that determines up to 80% of its environmental impact. In this way, the new trends of ecodesign, seeking to make the most sustainable containers and with a minimum environmental footprint, have become the first step to move towards a model of circular economy.

In Europe, the Community Directives establish the obligation to recycle up to 55% of municipal waste and 65% of household containers for the year 2025. In 2030 all plastic containers must be recyclable and the bottles of this material must incorporate 30% of recycled material. To achieve these figures it will be necessary to review and improve national legislation with comprehensive plans: in Spain Ecodesign is one of the axes of action with which the strategy of circular economy, start-up by the Government for this purpose.

In the last three years, 2,193 Spanish companies (52% of them SMEs) have been ahead and applied 9,380 measures to minimize the environmental impact of their containers, in accordance with the VII Prevention Business Plan (2018-2020) published by Ecoembes . Half of these measures (4,470) have been aimed at reducing or eliminating the use of plastic and other materials used in their manufacture, which has allowed a saving of 49,000 tons of raw materials.

Experts explain that two fundamental factors weigh on the ecological footprint of a container: the expenditure of raw materials and the management of the final residue. Hence another of the increasingly frequent lines of action in companies is the search for solutions to increase the circularity of their containers (one in five measures go in this regard). According to the Ecoembes data, the non-profit environmental organization that coordinates the management of recycling and the ecodesign of household containers in Spain, that has allowed reintroduce 37,000 tons of recycled raw material in the production of new containers.

"The legislation marks important challenges on packaging sustainability, which require a commitment determined by innovation," says Begoña de Benito, director of external relations of Ecoembes. "In this sense, ecodesign is one of the tools that companies have at their disposal to get to respond to these challenges and thus contribute to a circular economy model."

According to the Sustainability Report in large consumption companies and related sectors presented this year by the Association of Manufacturers and Distributors (AECOC), 93.1% of large companies have opted for a new design in their packaging or packaging One-use plastic, while 82% apply this strategy for paper and cardboard. "The companies have been working on the design of containers and products for years, looking for the lowest possible impact on the environment," explains the Head of Sustainability of the AECOC, Bosch tape. "And one of the lines of work is the ecodesign, in addition to the reduction, reuse, recovery and recycling of the packaging and packaging materials, with special attention to the plastic".

For companies to continue evolving in this regard, Ecoembes created in 2017 ThecircularcularLab in Logroño, the first innovation center dedicated to the circular economy of Europe. There are new ways of improvement and explore and explore. One of the main is the adoption of new packaging materials, the Bio-Bio materials. This new generation is elaborated from renewable products (biobasted) as plant remains, but it should also be able to compost after its use, under the appropriate operating conditions and becoming a fertilizer to cultivate new raw materials (ie, being biodegradable) .

Circular economy series carried out in collaboration with the Ecoembes Organization.

Date Of Update: 10 December 2021, 16:16

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