There is no doubt by now that, if we keep exploiting resources as we are doing at the moment, in 30 years we will need the resources of 3 earths.
Last year, the European Commission presented under the European Green Deal and in line with a proposed new industrial strategy, the new circular economy action plan that includes proposals on more sustainable product design, reducing waste and empowering consumers. Specific focus is brought to resource intensive sectors, such as electronics and ICT, plastics, textiles and construction. Months later, the Parliament adopted a resolution on the new circular economy action plan demanding additional measures to achieve a carbon-neutral, environmentally sustainable, toxic-free and entirely circular economy by 2050.
This transition certainly will bring many benefits, some of them are the creation of new jobs, increased quality life for consumers since they will be provided with more durable and innovative products, improvement of the security of the supply of raw materials, etc.
But, how do we switch to a circular economy? We can start by following the 3R’s strategy.
This well-known concept helps us return materials and resources to the lifecycle of a product, ensuring that we use less energy and produce less waste/pollution and emissions. This helps to minimize the amount of space needed for landfill sites, where waste materials are disposed of.
Of course, following this strategy might carry some challenges, but from MANDALA we encourage everyone to start contributing to it, for the sake of a circular 2050. We are actually already working on it by, trying to demonstrate the feasibility of a Circular Economy for multilayer packaging by validating 4 end-of-life scenarios. We also want to validate MANDALA packaging prototypes in the food and pharma sectors, contributing to the creation of 1 new circular value chain.
As ecology progresses day by day, new approaches to save the environment are emerging. Some of them are including new R’s to the previous strategy, such as redesign, recover and repair. What do you think? Are the 3R’s enough? Do we need a larger and deeper outlook?